Chips are a classic accompaniment to sandwiches, whether you’re tossing a mini bag into a lunch box or bringing a family size sack along on a camping trip. But potato chips are pretty, well, basic. If you haven’t had a kale chip epiphany yet, it’s tough to describe the curious mix of gluttonous joy and health-food smugness one feels as one power-eats a sheet pan of hot, crackly greens—or any other crispy veggie chips.
It goes something like: “Sweet Lord, I can’t stop eating these” and “I’ll never jaw my way through a kale salad again!” and “I’m getting vitamins and fiber–WOOO!”
All because you realized that slicing veggies super-thin, slicking ’em with oil, seasoning, and roasting makes an unbelievably delicious vegetable 2.0, with all of the satisfying appeal of crunchy potato chips, minus the grease and gluten.
You can use a food dehydrator for the purpose:
Cosori Food Dehydrator, $59.99 from Amazon
Make jerky, veggie chips, and dehydrated fruit at home.
Think of these recipes as your gateway to crisp-ifying almost any vegetable or fruit. Once you get the hang of it (and, really, it’s as easy as it gets), you’ll never look at turnips or rutabagas or apples the same way again. Also, while we just touted the fact that you don’t need any special gadgets for this, if your knife skills aren’t so sharp, a mandoline will really help:
Mueller Austria V-Pro Multi Blade Adjustable Mandoline Slicer, $34.97 from Amazon
Thin, precise slices are easy with this tool (just watch your fingers).
Easy Veggie Chip Recipes
Play around with whatever seasonings and spices you like.
Oh, kale. You’ve had your moment and the fooderati schadenfreude is peaking (read Dear Kale for the best farewell ever), but we will always and forever love you when you’re kissed with oil and crisped in an oven. No matter what the cool kids say. Get our classic Kale Chips recipe, or try our Toasted Sesame Kale Chips recipe.
For anyone who recoils at the baby food texture and watery sweetness of steamed carrots, the earthy, subtle sweet and crunch of carrot chips will make you love Bugs’ favorite snack all over again. Get our Carrot Chips recipe.
You’ll want to take some before/after selfies with these chips. The funky woody potato exterior belies a purple-flecked flesh that makes these chips an ideal delivery platform for a punchy ceviche or a dip or spread that needs a pretty surface. Get our Taro Chips recipe.
If you make veggie chips often, think of this as a template recipe for any root veggie type of produce. The splash of vinegar is key. The acid prevents vegetables from turning mushy or soft while cooking, so you’re guaranteed a truly crispy chip. Get our Sweet Potato Chips recipe.
If you love barbecue-flavored potato chips, these crisps deliver the goods–smoky, tangy, salty crunch–minus the nuclear flavoring agents. Get our Sweet Potato Crisps with Smoked Paprika recipe.
Sweet, earthy beets make especially vibrant chips. Try a mix of red and gold for a pretty (and pretty healthy) snack. Get the Beet Chips recipe.
Got a glut of garden zucchini, or other summer squash? They make fantastic chips (maybe even better if you sprinkle them with parmesan, or dill). Get the Zucchini Chips recipe.
Healthy oven baked potato chips can be just as crisp as store-bought, but the key is slicing them really thin. Get the Baked Potato Chips recipe.
OK, so these depart from the oven-baked method, but they’re so good we can’t leave them out. Thin slivers of garlic are soaked in an unexpected splash of coconut milk before frying, and we’re not sure why, but the results are so outstanding, the recipe should probably come with a three cloves per “snack” limit. Because you (if “you” are…me) can eat all of these in one sitting, easy, and you will reek for days. Get our Garlic Chips recipe.
Original story by Christine Gallary, updated by Colleen Rush.