Cheesy Pesto Tahini Kale Chips

October 5, 2012

You know how I’m sometimes bedazzled by the food that my hands create? Well, that’s not entirely true since my hands follow inspirations and lessons from my friends, like a certain nutritionist-food-monger Anna Kelles. This is one of those smack-dab delicious recipes. Forget about the fact that these pesto-tahini soaked Kale Chips are healthy – these are pure addiction! The only catch: you will need a food dehydrator for this recipe (I have anOpen Country 700 Watt Dehydrator).

If you’d like to give this recipe a shot in the oven, please send your results to in exchange for an exclusive non-dehydrated recipe! 

Emma Frisch Cheesy Pesto Tahini Kale Chips Recipe Emma Frisch Cheesy Pesto Tahini Kale Chips Recipe


Cheesy Pesto Tahini Kale Chips

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  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 quart jar; 1 large ziplock bag


  • Yeast – 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • Sunflower seed pesto – 1/4 cup
  • Tahini – 1/4 cup
  • Honey – 1/4 cup
  • Lemon – 1/2 lemon, freshly squeezed
  • Tomato paste – 1 teaspoon
  • Chili flakes (optional) – dried chili flakes
  • Kale or Collard greens – 2 large bunches of kale or collard greens, or both!


  1. A bit about the products in this recipe:
  2. Nutritional yeast: While I don’t consider nutritional yeast to suffice for cheese in any way, this product is a vegan’s cheesy go-to. It adds a great flavor to popcorn too, and can be found in the natural foods section of your grocery store.
  3. Tahini is sesame butter, and can be found in your supermarket’s natural foods section or next to the peanut butter
  4. Tomato paste: Buy tomato paste in a tube, as opposed to a jar. It will keep indefinitely in a tube, but will mold quickly in a jar. Tomato paste is super-concentrated tomatoes – a little bit goes a long way. Look for a brand that contains one ingredient: tomatoes.
  5. Dried chilis: To dry fresh chilis, hang them on a ribbon with safety pins. They will dry out and store indefinitely. Flake off some skin or seeds for extra heat when cooking.
  6. Defrost a frozen batch of pesto for 30 minutes prior to cooking, or, whip up a fresh batch. (Roasted Sunflower Seed Pesto)
  7. In a blender or food processor, mix all of the ingredients except for the kale and/or collards.
  8. Strip the kale and/or collard leaves from the stems and tear into 1-inch long trips. Put half the leaves in a large mixing bowl.
  9. Add half the pesto sauce to the bowl and massage it into the greens with your hands, fully coating each leaf as much as possible.
  10. Repeat with the remaining greens and pesto sauce.
  11. Spread the kale chips evenly on the dehydrator racks.
  12. Dehydrate at 145 degrees for about 3 hours, rotating the racks from top to bottom once.
  13. Note: I like the separate the kale and collards on the racks, because the collards take a bit longer to get crispy.
  14. Store your chippies in an airtight jar, and hide form your housemates, husband or children immediately.

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