Sunflower-Coated Cheesy Kale Chips

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Marble cutting board with a bowl of Crispy Baked Kale Chips coated with Sunflower Seed Cheeze

If you’re into kale chips, this is definitely a variation you need to try!

It requires simple methods and 7 wholesome ingredients, and it yields BIG flavor. Let’s do this!

Kale, sunflower seeds, lemon, nutritional yeast, and spices for making oil-free Crispy Baked Kale Chips with Sunflower Seed Cheeze

The base for this recipe is a cheesy sauce made with sunflower seeds, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and a few extra seasonings. The sunflower seeds are soaked then blended so this creamy goodness can coat the kale and help it crisp up (into chips – duh).

Blender with ingredients for making delicious Sunflower Seed Cheeze
Using hands to toss kale leaves evenly with Sunflower Seed Cheeze

The key to the coating process is to have the kale thoroughly coated but avoid areas of serious clump!

If you have any kale with a lot of the seasoning, it can have a tendency to remain a little tender after baking (which is not what we want). So coat, spread, and remove any excess. Then bake!

Baking sheet filled with coated kale leaves for making delicious crispy kale chips

I hope you all LOVE these chips! They’re:

Seriously flavorful
Super healthy
Easy to make
& So delicious

This would make the perfect snack to have on a lazy day at home or if you’ve made a dip and want something healthy to go along with it (think 5-Minute Macadamia Nut CheeseEasy Red Salsa, Garlicky Guac, or Lentil Dip).

If you’re into kale, you’ll also like this version of Cheesy Kale Chips or this Kale Salad with Crispy Chickpeas. And don’t forget my Kale Chip Nachos, Loaded Kale SaladHide Your Kale Smoothie, and Easy Asian Kale Salad!

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram so we can see. Cheers, friends!

Marble cutting board with a bowl full of Crispy Baked Kale Chips for the perfect plant-based snack

Sunflower-Coated Cheesy Kale Chips

Amazingly cheesy, crispy kale chips baked in a sunflower seed-nutritional yeast coating! Healthy, simple ingredients, BIG flavor and nutrients!
Author Minimalist Baker
Bowl of Cheesy Sunflower Kale Chips
4.78 from 9 votes
Prep Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 6
Course Side, Snack
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 2-3 Days



  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds* (soaked in very hot water for 1 hour or in cool water overnight)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (plus more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne powder (adjust to preferred spice level)
  • 1/4 cup water (plus more as needed)


  • 2 large bundles curly kale (stems removed + torn into large pieces // organic when possible)


  • Soak sunflower seeds and then drain thoroughly. Then add to a high-speed blender along with lemon juice, nutritional yeast, ground turmeric, sea salt, cayenne pepper, and water. Blend on high until creamy and smooth. Then taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more spices for overall flavor, nutritional yeast for cheesiness, or lemon juice for acidity.
  • Preheat oven to 225 degrees F (107 C). Use convection bake if you have it to speed cooking time and help chips crisp up even more. Place parchment paper on two large baking sheets to prevent sticking. Set aside.
  • Rinse and thoroughly dry kale. Then tear into small pieces and discard any large stems (they won’t crisp well). Add to a large mixing bowl and add the sunflower mixture. Toss thoroughly to combine, using hands to distribute the seasonings evenly. If possible, try and massage well enough to avoid large clumps of sauce on the kale or they may have trouble crisping up.
  • Spread the kale over the parchment-lined baking sheets, ensuring that the kale touches as little as possible to help crisp while baking. Depending on size of baking sheets, you may need to do this in several batches. The important thing is to make sure the kale isn’t overlapping.
  • Bake for 20 minutes. Then turn the pans around and lightly toss/stir kale to ensure even baking. Bake for 10-20 minutes more or until kale is crispy and very slightly golden brown. If some of the chips are still wet with the seasoning, you can leave the pans in the oven a little longer at 200 F (93 C) to further dry / crisp up.
  • Remove from oven and let cool completely – chips will crisp up even more once out of the oven. Enjoy immediately! Best when fresh, although you can loosely cover leftovers (try not to seal) at room temperature for 2-3 days.



*I haven’t tried testing this recipe with other nuts or seeds, so if you try it, let me know how it goes!
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.

Nutrition (1 of 6 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 174 Carbohydrates: 17.5 g Protein: 8.1 g Fat: 9.7 g Saturated Fat: 0.9 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 207 mg Fiber: 4.1 g Sugar: 0.8 g

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My Rating:

  1. Donna says

    I preferred the other recipe for Kale Chips on this site. This one took a lot of work and time to properly coat the kale chips and rub off the excess.

    And, getting the mixture to incorporate until smooth in the blender was difficult and time-consuming. I tried scraping the sides, using the tamper, etc. It would not get to high speed. It was a 4/10 on the Vitamix before it would stop blending. I started at 1 and incrementally tried to go higher. I added water a couple times, which helped.

    I would recommend more salt than the recipe calls for as the final product tasted like it needed salt. Maybe try doubling?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Donna! Sorry to hear it gave you trouble with blending. Did you make sure to soak the sunflower seeds before blending?

  2. Diya says

    My 10 year old who won’t even eat anything with parsley in it (”yuck, that’s a vegetable in there”) gobbled a tray of these last night.

  3. Jami says

    OMG these are amazing. I usually sub in cashews or do a mix. I also add extra lemon juice and Braggs Aminos. Once I substituted white wine vinegar for the lemon – still fabulous! I also recommend leaving the kale in as large of pieces as possible until after they’re cooked. This way they’re so much easier to flip. Everyone I’ve made these for, just loves them. Thank you so much!

  4. Lori says

    Hi Dana, 3rd time making these and hubby and I just devour them…they are so good !! Also a super sirtfood. Thanks for an other stellar recipe ?

  5. Dara Gellman says

    I made these and I loved them! I did end up with some pieces that were super clumpy with the sauce mix but I just left them in longer and then let them hang out in the turned off oven overnight (after we had already gobbled up the pieces that were already crisp) and they turned out super crisp and extra delicious the following morning, because they had so much coating. Would Lacinato kale also work? I was just thinking it would help make the pieces more uniform and maybe easier to handle … thanks for an awesome recipe and snack!

  6. Michaela says

    I made these without the nutritional yeast (because I didn’t have any) so substituted a bunch of other random spices. Literally my only complaint is that these take an hour to make and under five minutes to consume. They are THAT good.

  7. Kelly Blair says

    I don’t have a lemon, but have apple cider vinegar on hand, would that work in the place of the lemon?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kelly, We haven’t tried it, but we think it should work. Let us know if you give it a try!

  8. Michelle says

    Hi can I please ask do you think this would work ok with pumpkin seeds instead of sunflower and if so should I soak them first? Many thanks

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We haven’t tried that, but it might work! The flavor may be a little more earthy though! If you give it a try, we would love to hear how it goes.

    • Donna says

      I used a seed mixture because it’s what I had on hand. It had sunflower, pumpkin, and watermelon seeds. I did still soak it. It worked out, and yes had an earthy taste. I would probably try just sunflower next time. Hope that helps!

  9. Kaci Lynn says

    I just made these and through in a few jalepenos I needed to use up… so tasty! My husband was surprised by how good they were and ate a whole plate. I split this on to two pans and had to do 2 rounds, but I should have done 3 to crisp them up faster. They taste best right out of the oven!

  10. Joanna Ruckenstein says

    A few weeks ago I discovered dehydrated onion chips with a sunflower, maple and smokey coating. They are crazy delicious and very rich. I really want to start making them for my clients…glad to see the sunflower seed idea on other foods so I’m sure it works.
    If I make them I’ll leave a comment here…maybe some cooks wanna try another type of chip than kale…although kale chips are so amazing

  11. Laura Harrald says

    I just made these and the flavor is amazing! I used home grown kale and the leaves were very small and tender. A lot of mine stuck to the baking sheet! Did I miss a step or should I be using much more stout kale?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      If they stuck, a baking mat or parchment paper can be helpful, but that shouldn’t have been the case with these.

  12. Paige says

    I just made these with pepitas in place of the sunflower seeds and it totally worked out just fine. I ended up soaking the pepitas for about 2 hours (making sure the water was hot the entire time) because they are larger than sunflower seeds and I also baked them a bit longer due to the pepitas being a little hardier and holding more moisture. Anything with nooch warms my heart so I am really enjoying these. Great recipe!

  13. Maria says

    I made these last night but totally missed the memo on removing the excess seasoning. After baking for 30 minutes and realizing they were not even a little bit crispy, I broiled them at 500F for an additional 8-10 minutes. Some outer pieces did burn (my dog was being cute so I got distracted) but they were a super yummy cheesy delicious treat!

  14. Janelle says

    Made these tonight and they are amazing!! I didn’t expect anything less than amazing since every one of your recipes I’ve tried has gone into my ‘favorite recipes’. Love everything about your site and recipes.

  15. Susan says

    I am trying his recipe right now. Thank you for publishing it, Dana. (I have your book & make your recipes on a weekly basis. Thank you for sharing with the world!)

    I found that, even using my Vitamix, the ratio you have did not blend smoothly. I added probably twice as much water & it still wasn’t blending very well. But I finally just called it “good enough.” I seasoned with additional freshly ground pepper & salt once on the baking tray pre-oven. These are tasty! Not sure I’d go to the extra trouble of dealing with the blender & seeds as opposed to just doing regular kale chips with seasoning next time but i’m glad I tried them & they do taste good. Thanks again, Dana!

  16. Antonella says

    This site and emails are amazing. It’s mind opening to the many possibilities of plant based food. All delicious recipes. i have passed on the details to my vegan friends. Brilliant!

  17. Sara says

    Mmmmh, I like the sound of these. It’s nice to see sunflower seeds rather than cashews in a kale chip recipe because the former are cheaper in organic quality. Hoping I’ll still be able to find fresh kale around here (seasonal for us so only available for a short period of time).
    Unrelated to the recipe but I noticed another blogger copying a lot of your recipes – her blog is basically 80 % (rough guess) Minimalist Baker recipes – and sharing them with no backlink or mention whatsoever. I know snitching on others isn’t cool but I don’t think her doing it is, either …

  18. Christina says

    Hi Dana, Kale is my fav. I would definitely try your sunflower coated kale chips. Well, I have a question, if I want to avoid yeast, is there any substitute that you can suggest? Thanks in advance.

    Christina – Editor Kitchen Folks

  19. Katniss Evergreen says

    Can i replace cashews with the sunflower seeds? It’s harder to find sunflower seeds from where I’m from

  20. Jess says

    I just bought my first bag of nutritional yeast, thanks in part to inspiration from your blog! I can’t wait to try it with this recipe!

  21. Lou says

    These look great. Is the 670g of Kale before or after the stems are removed? I can only find chopped kale near me and I’ve found the stems can be half the weight of the bag and it can really throw out the ratio of kale to coating, if you see what I mean.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I chop mine with the stems and only discard the large stubby ends – the grams are an estimate without large stalks, but with small stems.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I’m sure you could, but it will definitely affect the flavor and texture. If you give it a try let me know!

  22. Stacey says

    Thank you so much for giving out amazing and delicious recipes! I am so excited to make these and I really appreciate your work to share healthy food with us.

  23. Emily says

    Wow these look good. Sometimes our family has them with a cashew cheesy sauce and that’s good too. I love your blog, so positive and inspiring :)