How to make your own vegetable chips

Jennifer Irvine with butternut squash

When you’re cosied up at home with family it’s nice to have nibbles to share.  Jennifer Irvine explains how to make chips or crisps out of common vegetables with just a few simple ingredients.

I make my own vegetable crisps using ingredients fresh from the garden: potato and beetroot crisps are popular choices in the shops, but I use butternut squash and parsnips as well, and have experimented with nettles as an alternative to kale crisps.

A dehydrator is the simplest way to make crisps. But if, like me, you don’t have one, a warm oven will give you the same delicious results.

The overall method of making the crisps is the same – just the ingredients and cooking times vary. I like to season mine with herbs or a small amount of salt. Try out different flavours to see which you like best, but many vegetables go well with rosemary or thyme. Want a spicy touch? Add cayenne pepper or paprika. This way you can cut out the salt altogether. Look through your spice drawer for inspiration. I also like to sprinkle over fine shavings of parmesan.

Vegetable crisps are versatile and make great toppings for soups, salads and even poached eggs. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Nettle or kale crisps

If you don’t have access to nettles, you can use shop-bought kale instead.


  • nettles or kale
  • spray olive oil
  • salt (optional)


  1. Heat the oven to 140°C/fan 120°C/gas 1 and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Wearing gloves, wash the nettles and dry them thoroughly. Put in a large bowl, tearing any large leaves into smaller pieces. Spray lightly with olive oil and sprinkle over salt, if using. Mix well.
  3. Spread the nettle leaves across the trays in a single layer. Bake for 18–20 min or until crisp but still green. Allow to cool for a few min before eating.

Butternut squash crisps

Use a sharp knife or mandoline slicer to get the shavings thin enough.


  • butternut squash
  • olive oil
  • chopped fresh rosemary leaves


  1. Heat the oven to 160°C/fan 140°C/gas 3 and line two baking trays with baking paper. Remove the top of the butternut squash and cut the neck into thin slices. (I like to keep the skin on, which gives a lovely rustic taste.)
  2. Put the slices into a bowl and rub in the olive oil, making sure all the slices are coated. Spread the slices across the baking trays in a single layer, making sure they don’t overlap.
  3. Sprinkle the butternut slices with the rosemary leaves, then bake for 40–45 min until the slices are crisp and light brown. Cooking time will vary depending on how thin your slices are.

Parsnip crisps

A swivel-blade peeler gives you lovely long strips for this recipe.


  • parsnips
  • olive oil
  • a mixture of ground cumin, coriander and turmeric


  1. Heat the oven to 140°C/fan 120°C/gas 1 and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Cut the parsnips into long strips, then put into a large bowl and toss with the olive oil. Season the strips lightly with the spices and arrange in a single layer on the lined baking trays, making sure they don’t overlap.
  3. Bake in the oven for 30–35 min, turning halfway, until golden and crisp.
First published: Sep 2021

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