Do you ever get recipe ideas that make you go, “Yes! I HAVE to make that!” and then it takes you approximately two years to actually make said recipe? Such is the case with these Cool Ranch Kale Chips.
As soon as I made my Cool Ranch Hummus back in the summer of 2012, I knew I had stumbled upon something great. It happened a little haphazardly, as I was really just trying to use up a bunch of the fresh herbs that were actually growing (growing! not dying!) on my little, rickety, soon to be wasp-infested porch. The end result was a hummus that totally captured the whole Cool Ranch Dorito vibe, minus the Doritos and scary ingredients.
Then, in January of this past year, I translated those same addictive flavors into Cool Ranch Chickpeas. Crispy, crunchy, roasted chickpeas, all coated in that magical herb-y seasoning.
And now! The recipe I’ve been meaning to perfect for far too long—Cool Ranch Kale Chips! These kale chips are everything I’d hoped for, maybe even better.
Similar to their original chip inspiration, these are hard to stop eating. But that’s where the similarities end, because these are a snack you can feel good about eating, and also a seriously tasty way to get in your greens. The tangy ranch coating + extra crunchy kale is a crave-worthy combination you must must must try.
I broke out my very neglected dehydrator to make these, though I’ve also had success baking them in the oven following the method I’ve detailed in the recipe instructions below. I prefer the dehydrator method over baking, but if you don’t own a dehydrator, don’t let that keep you from indulging in this deliciousness.
In my experience, these are always gone way too fast. I recommend making a double batch, especially if you’ll be sharing.
Photography by Aaron Scott
- 1 cup raw cashew pieces, soaked in water for 2 hours or more and drained
- ¼ cup filtered water
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1½ tablespoons dried chives
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon each: garlic powder, onion powder, dried dill, dried parsley
- heaping ¼ teaspoon fine grain sea salt + more for sprinkling
- 1 large bunch curly kale, de-stemmed and torn into bite-sized pieces
- ¼ cup red onion, sliced thin
- Add all of the cool ranch dressing ingredients to your blender. Slowly increase the speed from low to high and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides a couple of times if necessary. It will be very thick.
- Transfer the dressing to a large mixing bowl and add in the kale and red onion. Using your hands, thoroughly mix the kale, red onion, and dressing until the kale is evenly coated.
- Transfer the kale to 2 Teflex-lined dehydrator sheets and arrange it in a single, even layer. Lightly sprinkle with salt. Dehydrate for 6 hours at 115˚, or until the chips are crisp.
- Alternatively, if you don't have a dehydrator, you can bake the chips on 2 parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheets at 300˚ for 12 minutes, rotate the pan, and bake for an additional 12-14 minutes. Bake time will depend on your oven, so make sure to keep a close eye on the chips.
Dehydrator: Excalibur 3926TB 9-Tray Food Dehydrator
Were you also a fan of Cool Ranch Doritos? What was your salty snack of choice?
Confession: I’m told by my parents that I survived almost exclusively on cheese doodles, Sabrett hot dogs (from the stands in Central Park) and Yoo-hoos during a picky-eating phase as a kid. It’s simultaneously hilarious (given my eating preferences now), and horrifying (given my eating preferences now).