Crispy Kale Chips with Lemon and Sea Salt

Crispy Kale Chips with Lemon and Sea Salt
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About This Recipe

Hello, Napa Valley food lovers! Lily here, sharing a healthy and delicious snack recipe that you can enjoy anytime: Crispy Kale Chips with Lemon and Sea Salt. This simple yet flavorful treat is perfect for those looking to satisfy their crunchy cravings while keeping things light and nutritious.

The inspiration for this recipe came from my love for kale, which grows abundantly in our local gardens and farms here in Napa Valley. I wanted to create a delicious and easy-to-make snack that showcases this versatile green in a fun and unique way.

Serve these kale chips as a side dish to your favorite sandwich or wrap, like a turkey and avocado panini, or a portobello and goat cheese sandwich. For dessert, you could enjoy some fresh fruit drizzled with honey or a square of locally-made dark chocolate from a Napa Valley chocolatier.

To source the freshest ingredients for your kale chips, head to your local Napa farmers' market, where you'll find a beautiful selection of organic kale and other locally-grown produce. The market also offers locally-produced sea salt and artisanal lemon-infused olive oil, which will add a delightful touch to your recipe.

Pair your crispy kale chips with a chilled glass of Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc or a fruity, low-tannin red like a Pinot Noir from a local winery like Etude or Domaine Carneros. This will enhance your snacking experience and truly capture the essence of Napa Valley.

As you prepare these scrumptious kale chips, take a moment to appreciate the stunning landscape of Napa Valley, from the rolling vineyards to the picturesque wineries that dot the landscape. We are truly fortunate to live in a region that offers such a diverse and delectable array of food and wine. Cheers to healthy snacking and the vibrant flavors of Napa Valley!

Hero Ingredient Spotlight: Kale

The Nutritional Powerhouse: Kale

Kale, often labeled as a "superfood," stands out for its nutritional richness and health benefits. This leafy green is packed with vitamins A, C, and K, along with essential minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium. It's not just its nutrient density that makes it remarkable; the vibrant green color and slightly bitter taste add depth and dimension to a plethora of dishes. In our Crispy Kale Chips with Lemon and Sea Salt recipe, kale is transformed into a delightful, crunchy snack that's both delicious and beneficial for health.

How to Massage Kale for Optimal Flavor and Texture

  1. ‍Begin by washing and thoroughly drying your kale. Wet kale can lead to soggy chips, so ensure it's bone dry.
  2. ‍Tear the kale into bite-sized pieces, discarding the thick stem in the center.
  3. Place the kale pieces in a large bowl and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.
  4. Now, use your hands to gently massage the oil into each kale piece. This process softens the kale, ensuring a crispy result post-baking and helping the kale absorb the rich flavors of the lemon and sea salt.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I use curly kale instead of lacinato (dinosaur) kale? Absolutely. While our recipe calls for a generic "kale," both curly and lacinato varieties work well for making chips. The main difference will be in texture; curly kale might yield a slightly airier chip.
  2. What can I use if I don't have lemon zest? If you're out of fresh lemons, consider using a dash of lemon juice or lemon pepper seasoning for that zesty kick.
  3. How do I store leftover kale chips? Kale chips are best enjoyed fresh, but if you do have leftovers, store them in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Re-crisp them in the oven at 300°F for 2-3 minutes if needed.
  4. I'm allergic to kale; can I use another leafy green? Yes, Swiss chard or collard greens can be good alternatives. However, the baking time might differ slightly, so keep a watchful eye to prevent over-crisping.
  5. Can I air-fry the kale chips? Certainly! If using an air fryer, cook the kale at 375°F for about 4-6 minutes, shaking halfway through, until they're crispy.

Tips for Success

  1. Don't Overlap: To ensure each piece crisps up nicely, spread your kale pieces in a single layer without overlapping on the baking sheet. Overlapping can lead to uneven cooking.
  2. Low and Slow is the Key: Baking at a lower temperature helps the kale dry out without burning. Monitor closely, especially during the final minutes, to ensure the perfect crispness.
  3. Flavor Variations: The beauty of this recipe is its adaptability. If lemon and sea salt aren't your flavors of choice, experiment with garlic powder, nutritional yeast, or even a dash of smoked paprika for a different spin.

Savor the delightful taste of Crispy Kale Chips with Lemon and Sea Salt and revel in the beauty of Napa Valley's culinary craftsmanship. Whether you're snacking during a wine-tasting tour or just relaxing at home, this snack epitomizes the elegance and richness of Napa's food and wine culture. Enjoy!

Recipe Overview

Crispy Kale Chips with Lemon and Sea Salt
Lily Anderson
4 servings
Calories Per Serving:
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:

Ingredients List


  • 1 large bunch of kale, washed, dried, and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Step-by-Step Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the kale pieces and olive oil. Gently massage the oil into the kale, making sure each piece is evenly coated.
  3. Spread the kale out in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets. Ensure that the pieces are not overlapping, as this will help them crisp up evenly.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the lemon zest and sea salt. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the kale pieces.
  5. Bake the kale chips in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until they are crispy and slightly golden. Keep an eye on them during the baking process, as cooking times may vary depending on the thickness of your kale pieces.
  6. Remove the kale chips from the oven and let them cool slightly on the baking sheets. Transfer to a serving bowl, and season with freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  7. Serve your Crispy Kale Chips with Lemon and Sea Salt alongside a refreshing glass of Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc. The wine's bright acidity and citrus notes perfectly complement the tangy lemon and sea salt flavors, making for a delightful and healthy snack that truly embodies the spirit of Napa Valley.

Share Your Results

Was it everything you dreamed it could be? Let me know how it turned out for you and share a picture on social media with the hashtag #LilyCooksNapa

Hello and welcome to Napa Home Chef! We're thrilled you're joining us to explore the vibrant world of wine country cooking. Our team has crafted bold, creative recipes inspired by Napa Valley's lush landscapes, bountiful harvests, and world-renowned wines. We hope you enjoy the journey with us!

Get ready to experience the rich flavors and unique culinary delights that embody the essence of wine country living. Happy cooking!

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