When it comes to a multifunctional kitchen appliance, the food processor reigns supreme. Its ability to make very quick work out of so many food prep steps–from chopping, to shredding to pureeing–is why it pulls rank over other kitchen tools. Plus, it’s the must-have culinary workhorse for anyone that prefers homemade staples like nut butters, flours and spreads over store-bought.
Here are our top 14 ways to use a food processor, the ruler of kitchen versatility:
1. DIY dips and spreads
Homemade hummus, pesto and salsa can be created to your exact liking–choose the ingredients you want and pulse for your preferred texture.
2. Grind grains into flours
Save money or meet special dietary needs by grinding your own flours at home. Use your food processor to grind grains like oats and quinoa, or nuts and seeds to a fine powder.
Test Kitchen Tip: Make sure to completely dry the food processor bowl and the chopping/mixing blade before doing any grinding.
3. Chop nuts
Put away the rolling pin and meat mallet and coarsely chop nuts for salads, desserts and everything in between, without making a mess.
Recipe to Try: No-Bake Chocolate Almond Truffles
4. Shred cheese
From Taco Tuesday toppings to the main ingredient in homemade mac n’cheese, get shredded cheese in seconds.
5. Whip up homemade mayo and dressings
When making mayo and dressing, emulsify like a pro with just the push of a button and use the food chute to evenly stream in oils while the food processor is spinning for the mixing magic to happen.
Test Kitchen Tip: Eggs should be at room temperature when making mayonnaise for easier emulsifying. And choose your oil carefully; some olive oils have a very strong flavor and can taste bitter.
6. Puree soups, sauces and baby food
Add in the right amount of liquid with your cooked food to reach a smooth, consistent texture that rivals the results a blender would create.
7. Create crusts and dough
Food processors evenly cut butter into flour, so made-from-scratch pastry dough is not as scary as it seems when you use the mixing power and speed of a food processor.
8. Customize compound butter
Compound butter is incredibly easy and only takes a minute or two of prep work. Combine simple, straightforward herbs and spices to customize your butter.
Recipe to Try: Cilantro Butter
9. Slice a variety of vegetables
A classic use (and one we had to include), slicing consistently sized vegetables only takes seconds with a Food Processor.
10. Create breadcrumbs & crushed cookies
Give day-old bread a new purpose as breadcrumbs, or crush cookies for ice cream, cheesecake crusts and other desserts.
11. Make nut butter
Hooked on the flavor of fresh-ground peanut butter? Love almond butter but not the price? Make your own with just the main ingredient and your food processor.
Test Kitchen Tip: For a creamier texture, try adding an oil like coconut or peanut.
12. Grind meat
No need to buy expensive appliances and attachments to make your own ground meat. The blades of a high-performance food processor can turn certain cuts of meat into grounds, fast.
Test Kitchen Tip: Cut meat into small cubes before processing.
13. Cauliflower rice
A healthy trend that’s here to stay, turn cauliflower into rice by chopping it to a rice-like size.
Recipe to Try:Mediterranean-Style Cauliflower Rice
14. Make fresh whipped cream
Nothing’s better than topping a cake or pie with than fresh-whipped cream. In just one to two minutes, you can make this heavenly confection in your food processor.
Recipe to Try: Whipped Cream
Test Kitchen Tip: Leave your heavy cream in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. Watch carefully as you pulse ingredients in the food processor as it will whip the cream quickly.