When it comes to making meal preparation easier, the culinary innovations just seem to keep on coming. From the Vitamix and the Instant Pot to the air fryer and chewable ice maker, Keeping Up with Kitchen Appliances may as well be the next new show to help us stay on top of them (Food Network, you reading?).
But today, we’re celebrating one of the OG cooking gadgets: the food processor.
Practical, quick, and equally good for chopping carrots as for blending brownie batter, it may not be a novelty item, but it’s certainly a handy one. Whether you have a budget blitzer or a deluxe version with endless attachments, make the most of it with these 27 food processor recipes.
For guaranteed clump-free pancake batter, this recipe blitzes its ingredients in a food processor. Not only does the strategy yield super-soft results, but it also makes for really easy prep, so weekday pancake breakfasts can be a thing way more often.
Thanks to being pulsed in a food processor, this no-sugar-added bowl of apples, dates, and chia may have the texture of overnight oats, but there are actually zero grains in sight. Still, the combination of fresh and dried fruit, seeds, and nuts provides enough carbs and healthy fats to pass as a satisfying breakfast.
If you’re into the Paleo diet, chances are you always have a sweet potato on hand. Use it in this quick, filling, three-ingredient breakfast, where it’s blended with almond butter for fat and flavor. It’ll taste just like a smoothie-in-a-bowl, but will contain zero added sugar.
Grain-, dairy-, and egg-free, plus secretly stuffed with a full cup of kale, these veggie-packed powerhouses are bound together in a food processor with a healthy mix of honey and avocado. With so much goodness crammed into each serving, this recipe totally justifies eating cookies for breakfast.
You don’t have to turn on the stove, the toaster, or the oven for this recipe. All you need is a food processor and a sheet pan to make these fiber-filled bars (which taste like Rice Krispies treats, but way healthier) happen.
Don’t let that oatmeal-like appearance fool you. This porridge is very much Paleo-friendly and vegan, made from a protein-rich blend of coconut, seeds, nut butter, and apples. Just like regular porridge, you can make it as creamy or chunky as you’d like, depending on how much nondairy milk you add.
7. Beet hummus
Turn up the beet — literally — on snack time by replacing your regular tub of hummus with this radiant red version. Not only does puréeing beets into the mix lend some pretty awesome color to the usually beige dip, it also provides an easy extra serving of veggies.
For an even creamier alternative to chickpeas, try putting cannellini beans at the base of your dip. This recipe blends them up with artichokes and lots of lemons, giving you a flavor-filled, scoopable appetizer when regular hummus just won’t cut it.
Smoky, creamy, and slightly tangy, baba ganoush is pretty complex in flavor, but you’ll be relieved to know that only five ingredients go into making it here. This recipe makes things even easier by foregoing the grill or stove-roasted route for the eggplant and opting for the more hands-off oven-cooked method instead.
10. Easy edamame dip
Going beyond the standard boiled-and-salted method, this recipe turns edamame into a cool, mint-green dip boosted by flavors like soy and hoisin sauce. Call it the Asian-inspired answer to hummus.
There are only five ingredients in this bright orange dip, but each one of them brings something unique to the table, from the smoky North African harissa spice and the nutty tahini paste to the natural sweetness of the carrots. If you’re looking for a creative way to eat more veggies, this recipe should definitely be on your list.
Unlike most pesto, this one contains no oil or dairy. Instead, it gets its richness from cashews, pine nuts, and nutritional yeast, while plenty of fresh herbs and lemon make sure it still tastes bright and fresh. Even if you’re not vegan, you may prefer this to your regular store-bought sauce.
There are a million and a half black bean burger recipes out there, but the addition of pumpkin purée makes these just a bit more special. The full cup of oats in the mix makes sure you aren’t going to go hungry after chowing down one of these for lunch, and as a bonus, these are egg- and dairy-free, making them ideal for vegans.
Sun-dried tomatoes can be a bit intense in flavor on their own, but blend them up with roasted red peppers in a food processor along with Parmesan and pine nuts, and you’ll get a slightly mellowed, but still rich and tangy, pesto for your next pasta dinner. There’s no extra oil in the sauce either, making it a lot lighter than store-bought pesto.
Even as adults, it can be hard for some of us to diligently eat our broccoli. Make it a lot easier with the help of some olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and pumpkin seeds, and take the veggie factor of the dish a notch further by stirring the pesto into spaghetti squash instead of pasta. Mom would be so proud.
Give processed beef substitutes and/or black beans a break, and make your veggie taco meat out of cauliflower florets and walnuts instead. Blitzed in a food processor and then roasted until tender, the combo is incredibly filling and works great in tortillas, salads, or a burrito bowl.
17. Baked falafel
The food processor is as important to this recipe as the chickpeas — these crispy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside patties just wouldn’t come together without either component.
Not only does the appliance pulse the beans down to the proper texture, it also ensures that every spice, from the garlic powder to the cumin, gets distributed evenly.
While “Chick-Fil-A” and “healthy” hardly ever belong in the same sentence, this case is an exception, which uses hard-boiled eggs, grilled chicken breasts, and just enough mayo to bind it all together in the food processor. It’s still fast food, but only in terms of how quickly the sandwich comes together.
19. Detox salad
The name “detox” might make you think this salad is restrictive, but don’t worry. Since it’s loaded with nutrients from the pulverized veggies, nuts, seeds, and the simple lemony dressing, you’ll fill right up.
20. Fish cakes
Taking a break from the usual crab cakes, these perfectly flaky, baked fish cakes are made with lower-cholesterol cod. Flavored with lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon pepper, and lemon salt, they’re as fresh-tasting as it gets.
A food processor is a must-have if you’re into no-bake desserts. Use it to throw together these 5-minute vegan brownies. There’s even a chocolaty frosting for them — and of course, it’s made in the food processor too.
Thanks to the substitution of avocado, this decadent-tasting bread is totally butter-free and low in saturated fat. The fruit gets puréed seamlessly into the cocoa-dusted batter with the food processor, so while it’s lending its heart-healthy fats to provide that soft texture, you’d never actually see or taste it in there.
Classic chocolate truffles are all about the heavy cream, but these go dairy-free, getting their creaminess from a combo of dates, cacao powder, and almond butter. No fussing with a double boiler to melt chocolate, either — the food processor dramatically simplifies the process.
If you’ve always wanted to make carrot cake but have been put off by that whole “grating the carrots” thing, the food processor is a great way to make that part of the process much easier. As long as you have it out, use it to grate up apples and pulverize walnuts, oats, and bran to get a higher-fiber cake for minimal extra effort.
Pulsing sunflower seeds here creates a nut-free “butter” that works as the binding agent and the all-important fat for these lower-sugar treats. Don’t let that lower-sugar part throw you off: With chocolate chunks generously spread throughout the batch, each cookie still has that gooey, melt-in-your-mouth sweetness.
Antioxidants from the cocoa powder, potassium from the bananas, good fats from the hazelnuts, and low-glycemic agave nectar all come together to make this 10-minute pudding possible. Honestly, when something is this nutritious, is this quick to make, and tastes this good, you may have no desire to go back to the boxed version.
Using three ingredients — and no ice cream maker — this dessert provides practically instant gratification for a sweet craving. Just make sure you’ve got frozen fruit on hand, and things will be just peachy.