Like Kale Chips? Try Collard Chips!

Have you ever had collard greens before?  Until recently, my only experience with collards had been Southern style, swimming in bacon, served next to a giant pan of mac ‘n cheese.  When Jeff and I were first married, we spent 2 baseball seasons living in Birmingham, Alabama.  He played for the Birmingham Barons, and I put my dietetics degree to use by working at a golf course and selling beer at the baseball games.

It’s true.

I went from working as a clinical dietitian at a hospital in Tucson to working odd jobs in the pursuit of the baseball dream.  And you know what?  I loved every minute of it.  Baseball wasn’t just Jeff’s dream, it was mine too.

And I actually made more money selling beer at baseball games than I made at the hospital educating patients and ordering tube feedings.

Let’s just say Thirsty Thursdays were very good to me.

Jeff Bajenaru Birmingham Barons

Those were the days when I learned how to cook.  Jeff would go on a road trip for a week at a time, and I would fill my days by watching The Food Network and trying to replicate what I saw on t.v. in our small apartment kitchen.  Ina Garten, Rachael Ray, Giada de Laurentiis, they were my cooking instructors.

I spent hours happily experimenting with food.  Well, not really experimenting as much as following the recipe exactly, since I had no idea what I was doing.  The only reason I can now go into my kitchen and put together a meal without looking at a recipe is because of the early years of cooking, learning, failing, and succeeding.

All of that practice made my most recent kitchen experiments possible.  Experiments like brussels sprouts chips, and these new collard chips.  A crispy, healthy version of that old Southern favorite.

collard chips recipe

And baseball?  We might still like it a little bit.


Question of the day: What kind of odd jobs have you held? 


Collard Chips

A crispy, healthy twist on an old Southern favorite.
4.50 from 2 votes


  • 2-4 collard leaves
  • 1 tsp. olive oil or use olive oil Misto sprayer
  • pinch salt


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Prepare collard leaves by washing, patting dry, and removing leaves from stem (cut stem from the middle of the leaf all the way to the top). Tear leaves with hands into 3-4 inch pieces. Toss with olive oil or spray with Misto sprayer. Use just a light coat, too much oil will leave your chips soggy.
  • Lay in a single layer on parchment paper. If needed, use two baking sheets to prevent overlapping.
  • Bake for 7 minutes, then flip leaves. Bake for 5 minutes more, then check leaves. Remove any that are crispy, return any that are limp to the oven. Be careful not to overcook or they will turn brown and bitter.
  • Sprinkle collard chips with salt or other preferred seasonings.
  • Serve immediately.

Like Kale Chips? Try Collard Chips!

  • Claire @ Live and Love to Eat April 18, 2012 at 6:05 am

    I’m such a huge baseball fan – I always hoped to marry a baseball player. ๐Ÿ™‚ I found my perfect man but still love the Pirates! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Chuck Bluestein April 18, 2012 at 7:58 am

    4 stars
    Yes it is important to follow your passion wherever it leads you. The collard greens chips sound good and maybe they would sell well with hot dogs.

    • inspiredrd April 18, 2012 at 1:59 pm

      I wonder if anyone would buy those at a baseball game, probably not! In AAA we had fried pickles, those were popular.

  • Ashley Stewart April 18, 2012 at 8:34 am

    Thirsty Thursdays were good to me too! I thought it was funny I made more selling beer in the stands than Josh did playing on the field. Fun times. I wish I had know you were in your apartment cooking all that time. I could have been your official taste tester.

    • inspiredrd April 18, 2012 at 1:58 pm

      I’m sure my introvert self never thought to invite you over to taste test. Sorry about that! Glad you got to experience the beer money too!

  • Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner April 18, 2012 at 8:51 am

    COLLORD chips?!?! You are AMAZING! <3

  • Regan @ The Professional Palate April 18, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    How have I never connected these dots? My husband and I grew up just outside of Birmingham. I went to Auburn for undergrad and UAB for my internship… we lived in Birmingham the first few years of our marriage. When were you guys there? And what golf course? I ask b/c my husband was an asst golf pro at a course in BHM when we first got married. Small world!

  • Stacy April 18, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    I love reading your posts, Alysa! Though my RD is finally just within my reach, I won’t lie: slinging beer at baseball games doesn’t sound all that bad… ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Vicky April 19, 2012 at 6:30 am

    Ooo I have to try these! I absolutely love kale chips and can’t believe I never even thought of making collard chips!

  • Melanie @ Nutritious Eats April 20, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Hi Alysa,
    I just realized I know I’ve visited your blog before but it’s been WAY too long so I am going to add you to my RD blogroll. Love this story. Sometimes other jobs are so much more appealing than the RD job, but I still love it. My oddest job was definitely working at a cookie boquet place…not selling them but actually decorating! Too funny. It was before I became an RD though. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have a 5 year old boy too- such a nice age! Melanie

  • Sandi McClanahan April 21, 2012 at 7:29 am

    I’ve been wanting something crunchy, yummy and healthy! Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  • Doug April 24, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    5 stars
    I guess this makes Kale my gateway chip to Collard & Brussels Sprouts Chips


  • tonya@happybodynlife April 24, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Hi Alysa! I have been wanting to try Kale chips and even went so far as purchasing the kale. I forgot about it in the crisper and so I had to throw it out. I think I will try these Collard chips instead. They sound yummy. Hopefully I won’t forget about the collard greens and have to throw them out too. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • Ginevra December 5, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    These sound great! About how big of collard leaves do you use?

    My mister played college baseball – always fun to watch games, even now!

    • inspiredrd December 5, 2012 at 3:26 pm

      Yay for baseball! I use giant leaves and tear them into strips maybe 4×5 or so ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Ginevra December 5, 2012 at 4:22 pm

        Super – I have several plants going like gangbusters, and never know when to get them harvested.

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  • Serena April 4, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    Oh this is great! I’m featuring this recipe on my blog since its such a cheap awesome alternative to kale chips! THANKS!!!!

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  • jenn November 8, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    Does your recipe say when to use the olive oil? I’m sorry I don’t see that detail here.

    • Trevor November 18, 2013 at 6:31 pm

      I don’t see it either. What do we do with the oil? I saw another recipe that said to toss the kale in the olive oil before baking.

      • InspiredRD November 19, 2013 at 2:57 pm

        So sorry, I just updated the recipe! Thanks for pointing that out.

  • amm December 24, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    We make lots of kale chips at my house but this evening when I was walking through the garden with my 3 year-old, he asked about collard chips. I googled to see if folks made these and tried your approach. And we liked the collard chips better than kale! thanks for sharing!

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  • Tracey November 29, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing the recipe. After carefully considering my snacks before the awards show, I scarfed two half muffins and just can’t wait to snack out before show time. The recipe is the ideal fit for an awards show on a Sunday night. God blessed ya with smarts!