The 7 Best Food Processors for Nutritious Cooking, According to a Dietitian

The Cuisinart DLC-8SY Pro Custom Food Processor is versatile and easy to use

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Verywell Fit / Lecia Landis

Food processors help make cooking nutritious meals a breeze, saving you time in the kitchen. People who cook at home tend to eat healthier meals, spend less money on food, and have less weight gain over time. But time constraints are often a barrier to making home cooking feasible. Food processors evenly chop veggies, mince garlic and fresh herbs, and blitz up creamy sauces and dressings in a flash, allowing you to experiment with different recipes. Some food processors also have special attachments for evenly shredding food and can even knead homemade dough.

“With so many people focusing on the quality of their food and having more control over factors like sodium and sugar content and quality of oils used, having a food processor is a game changer. You can whip up a homemade hummus or salsa in seconds and have complete control over what goes in it,” explains Melissa Azzaro, RD

Reviewed & Approved

The Cuisinart DLC-8SY Pro Custom 11-Cup Food Processor is our top pick because of its consistent results, ability to slice whole fruits and veggies, and ease of use. For a more budget-friendly, quality option, try the Hamilton Beach Food Processor & Vegetable Chopper.

Gal Shua-Haim, MS, RD, adds, “Having a food processor while trying to eat healthier can be extremely convenient. If you invest in a good-quality one, it’ll last you for years! It’s an appliance that I use almost daily and is so versatile that you really get your money's worth. It simplifies your time in the kitchen and allows you to get creative with meals to keep them interesting.”

When selecting our top list of food processors, our culinary dietitians interviewed fellow experts and considered overall design, volume capacity, functionality, ease of cleaning, and cost. Assessing what you plan to use your food processor for will help you to determine the right one for you.

Here are the best food processors.

Best Overall: Cuisinart DLC-8SY Pro Custom 11-Cup Food Processor

4.8
Cuisinart DLC-8SY Pro Custom 11-Cup Food Processor

Amazon

Pros
  • Easy to use, with intuitive buttons

  • Consistent results

  • Ability to slice whole fruits and vegetables

Cons
  • Can be difficult to assemble

Who else recommends it? Consumer Reports also picked the Cuisinart DLC-8SY Pro Custom 11-Cup Food Processor.

What do buyers say? 90% of 600+ Amazon reviewers rated it 4 stars or above.

This Cuisinart Pro Custom Food Processor is our top pick, because it’s easy to use, versatile, and effective, and it will last for years. Its 11-cup capacity is just right—not too big and not too small. Its size is suitable for individual use and large enough for a family.

With just two buttons, “On” and “Off-Pulse,” we love how easy it is to use, even if you’re not accustomed to using a food processor. Use the “On” button when you’re blending up something to a smooth, creamy consistency (like when making a spread or a nut butter), and the “Pulse” feature for chopping, dicing, and mincing vegetables.

This food processor comes with a curved chopping/mixing S-blade, two slicing discs, and a shredding disk, which allows you to process just about any food quickly and efficiently. The industrial-quality motor helps this product last for a long time.

Price at time of publication: $154

Cups: 11 | Watts: 625 | Dimensions: 11.25 x 7 x 14.5 inches | Weight: 16.12 pounds | Dishwasher Safe: Yes

Best Budget: Hamilton Beach 10-Cup Food Processor with Bowl Scraper

4.9
hamilton beach food processor

Hamilton Beach

Pros
  • Budget-friendly

  • Includes bowl scraper to minimize waste

Cons
  • May take time to close lid properly

Food processors are certainly an investment, so if you’re looking for a more affordable option, try the Hamilton Beach Food Processor & Vegetable Chopper. It has a powerful 450-watt motor featuring two speeds, plus a pulse option, for an economical price tag.

This model has a good-size 10-cup work bowl, suitable for large batches of chopped food or homemade dips and nut butters. It has an S-blade for chopping, mixing, and pureeing, as well as a reversible disc to shred or slice food. There is also a bowl-scraper attachment, which scrapes the sides of the bowl as you process, to allow for more even mixing, chopping, and pureeing. It eliminates the need to stop the food processor to scrape the bowl down manually, which can save time and effort.

Price at time of publication: $60

Cups: 10 | Watts: 450 | Dimensions: 10.25 x 8.43 x 15.47 inches | Weight: 4.7 pounds | Dishwasher Safe: Yes

Best Mini: Cuisinart DLC-2ABC Mini Prep Plus Food Processor

Cuisinart DLC-2ABC Mini Prep Plus Food Processor

Walmart

Pros
  • Takes up little space

  • Fairly quiet when in use

Cons
  • Only has two options (chop or grind)

Mini food processors sometimes make more sense to purchase, especially if you have a small kitchen or limited storage space, or don’t want all of the extra parts that come with a full-size unit. The Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus is a solid mini food processor to add to your kitchen.

This food processor has a small 3-cup bowl, which is perfect for daily use and smaller meals. Its 250-watt motor is powerful enough to finely chop herbs and grind harder foods, like hard cheese and nuts. 

This machine has two options. Just choose “Chop” or “Grind” based on what you want to do with your food. The blade has an auto-reverse feature, which guarantees even and consistent chopping and grinding results. The parts are dishwasher safe, making for easy cleanup.

Price at time of publication: $40

Cups: 3 | Watts: 250 | Dimensions: 9.25 x 7 x 5 inches | Weight: 2.2 pounds | Dishwasher Safe: Yes

Best Blender/Food Processor Combo: Ninja BL770 Mega Kitchen System

Ninja BL770 Mega Kitchen System

Amazon

Pros
  • Processes and blends

  • Pulverizes ice in seconds and mixes dough

  • Great deal

Cons
  • Many pieces to store and keep track of

Food processors and blenders are similar, yet different, kitchen appliances. If you want both appliances in a single unit, the Ninja Mega Kitchen System is a solid and versatile option. The 1500-watt base fits both a blender pitcher and an 8-cup food processor bowl.

For dishes that don’t include a liquid ingredient, like dips, chopped vegetables, and nut butters, use the food processor bowl. When you’re making smoothies and soups, opt for the blender attachment. There are five manual programs, allowing you to control your blending speed.

While the Ninja food processor bowl is slightly smaller than other full-size units, it’s still big enough to use for a couple or small family, and it will make 2 pounds of dough in 30 seconds. All of the attachments are dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.

Price at time of publication: $200

Cups: 8 | Watts: 1500 | Dimensions: 9.5 x 8.25 x 17.75 inches | Weight: 9.2 pounds | Dishwasher Safe: Yes

Best Large Capacity: Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY 14-Cup Food Processor

4.9
Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY 14-Cup Food Processor

Amazon

Pros
  • Large 14-cup work bowl

  • Seven food prep functions

Cons
  • Higher price point

Cooking for a larger crowd on a regular basis? You’ll want a food processor with a large work bowl, like the Cuisinart Custom 14-cup food processor. The 720-watt motor quickly chops whole fruits and vegetables and holds everything in the large-capacity bowl.

Just like other Cuisinart Custom food processor models, this unit features an easy-to-use interface with “On” and “Off-Pulse” buttons. It includes a stainless steel slicing disc, shredding disc, and S-blade.

Each piece (besides the base) is dishwasher safe, making cleanup a breeze after prepping dips, dough, shredded cheese, or sliced vegetables for a larger crowd. This unit is also suitable for smaller families, if you plan to use your food processor to meal-prep larger batches.

Price at time of publication: $250

Cups: 14 | Watts: 720 | Dimensions: 11 x 7.9 x 14.8 inches | Weight: 20 pounds | Dishwasher Safe: No

Best Splurge: Breville BFP660SIL Sous Chef 12-Cup Food Processor

Breville 12-cup food processor

Amazon

Pros
  • Three feed chute options and an adjustable slicer

  • Ability to adjust thickness of sliced food

  • Multiple safety systems in place

Cons
  • Heavy base

  • High price point

If you’re ready for a top-of-the-line food processor, treat yourself to the Breville Sous Chef. This self-proclaimed “workhorse” has a large-capacity 12-cup bowl and superior 1000-watt motor for powerful, speedy food processing. 

This model features three feed chute sizes for better accuracy and even slicing, shredding, and chopping. The S-blade is micro-serrated for sharp and consistent chopping. It comes with an adjustable slicer with 24 settings, a reversible shredder, and a dough blade.

If 12 cups isn’t large enough for you, this model also comes in a 16-cup bowl capacity. These models are definitely a splurge, tipping the $300 mark, but well worth it if you love using food processors.

Price at time of publication: $300

Cups: 12 | Watts: 1000 | Dimensions: 9.5 x 7.5 x 17 inches | Weight: 15.9 pounds | Dishwasher Safe: Yes

Best Versatile: Braun FP3020 12-Cup Food Processor

Braun FP3020 12-Cup Food Processor

Amazon

Pros
  • Can replace other appliances and save space

  • Quiet and dishwasher safe

  • Allows for control of the blade speed

Cons
  • High price point

  • Using some functions requires additional purchase

For a food processor that does just about everything but the laundry, we love the Braun 12-Cup Food Processor. This gadget chops, whisks, slices, kneads, and even juices. And it's one of the few food processors that won't leak if you use it to blend liquids or make a smoothie.

This food processor comes with seven attachments that are all designed to perform different tasks. There are two different shredding inserts, plus inserts for grating, slicing, whipping, kneading, and citrus juicing. The 12-cup work bowl holds plenty of food or liquid.

Choose from 11 different speed settings on easy-to-use dials on the base. The attachments and the bowl are dishwasher safe.

Price at time of publication: $350

Cups: 12 | Watts: 600 | Dimensions: 14.9 x 11.3 x 15.4 inches | Weight: 9.8 pounds | Dishwasher Safe: Yes

Final Verdict

The Cuisinart Pro Custom 11-Cup Food Processor edges out the others for ease of use, consistency, durability, and price point. It performs all of the typical food processing tasks well, including chopping, slicing, shredding, and mixing. Its simple interface is easy to use, and the 11-cup work bowl is big enough for a family to use.

What to Look for in a Food Processor

Bowl Size

The size of the work bowl determines how much food you can prepare at once in your food processor. Depending on certain factors, you may want a larger or smaller bowl.

If you just want your food processor to perform simple tasks like chopping onions for a sauce, then you can get away with a smaller or mini unit. But if you’d like to prepare larger batches of dips, nut butters, or shredded cheese, you'll need a unit with a bigger bowl.

Food processor bowls that are 10 cups or more should be sufficient for performing larger-scale tasks and are suitable for families and entertaining groups. 

Attachments

One added benefit of having a food processor is using the different attachments it might come with. For example, some food processors come with blades to shred, grate, and slice food, going beyond just mixing and chopping.

Choose one of the models with these attachments if you envision yourself making things like shredded cabbage, sliced tomatoes and carrots, or grated cheese for recipes. These attachments really do cut down on prep time and elbow grease in the kitchen.

Safety

Ensuring that the food processor you choose is safe is incredibly important when you are working in the kitchen. Two ways you can ensure your processor’s safety are:

  1. The processing bowl locks onto the motor base.
  2. The processor will not start until the lid is properly closed.

Blade Performance

Having a sharp blade on your processor can make a world of difference when it comes to the ability to chop and grate in a uniform fashion. 

Stability

The last thing you want is to have to hold down your food processor to prevent it from moving around the counter when you are using it. A solid base that allows for proper anchoring is a key feature you should look for. From suction cups on the bottom of the machine to smart technology that keeps the processor in place, finding one that is stable is important. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do you clean a food processor? Are some dishwasher safe?

    Some food processor parts are dishwasher safe, so check the instruction manual of the model you choose. You may be able to put the bowl, blades, and other attachments in the dishwasher, but avoid putting the base in the dishwasher.

    Since food processors have many small parts, it’s important to clean them thoroughly to keep them working properly. Use warm, soapy water and a sponge to clean the blades, bowls, and attachments. For some parts with small holes and openings, you can use a small brush (even a toothbrush!) to get into the nooks and crannies.

    Be sure to let the food processor dry completely before reassembling and storing to avoid mold and rusting. You can let the parts air-dry on the countertop or use a clean towel to dry them by hand. You can use a damp sponge or towel with a little bit of dish soap to wipe down the base after each use.

  • Is a food processor the same as a blender? Do I need both?

    Food processors and blenders are similar, but they perform different tasks. Food processors are better for dry ingredients or recipes without much liquid, as well as evenly chopping, shredding, or slicing food.

    Blenders are better for liquid ingredients, such as making smoothies or pureed soups. A blender relies on an adequate amount of liquid to blend all of the ingredients together evenly, while a food processor can evenly mix ingredients without liquid at all.

    Depending on what recipes you want to prepare, you may want one or both of these appliances. If you love to make nut butters, homemade dips, energy balls, pie crusts, vegetable fritters, or dough, then you will certainly want a food processor for those tasks. But if you also want to make smoothies, pureed soups, milkshakes, and sauces, a blender is best. If you're looking for a blender and a food processor at a great price point, we recommend the Ninja BL770 Mega Kitchen System.

  • Can you grind coffee beans in a food processor?

    Thanks to the sharp blades and the food processor’s abilities, grinding coffee beans in a food processor is possible. Simply place coffee beans in the bowl with the blade in place, cover, and pulse until ground.

  • Can you make smoothies in a food processor?

    While most people opt for using a blender when they are craving a smoothie, it is possible to make a smoothie using a food processor. But take note that making smoothies with a food processor may result in excess liquid leaking out. Smaller food processors will likely not be able to break down ice and certain other smoothie ingredients properly. This endeavor should be reserved for high-powered food processors. The Braun FP3020 12-Cup Food Processor is powerful, handles liquids well, and is quieter than many blenders, so it may be a great choice if you want a food processor that can double as a blender.

  • Can you froth milk in a food processor?

    Frothing milk is entirely possible when using a food processor. If you have plastic blades, though, hot milk should not be used. On a high setting, process the milk for around one minute until it is frothed to your liking. Your smaller processor might not be appropriate for frothing milk.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

As a registered dietitian and healthy food blogger, Alex Aldeborgh has years of recipe development experience and is well versed on various kitchen appliances, including food processors. She has personally owned a Cuisinart Custom Pro food processor for 10 years, and it still works like new. She would recommend any of these products to friends and family and would consider replacing her own food processor with any of these models when the time comes.

Lauren Manaker MS, RDN, LD, is an award-winning registered dietitian who has been in practice for over 20 years. She leans on kitchen appliances almost daily and uses her food processor way too much. Lauren is a fan of each of the products listed in this article and thinks that any of these options is a great choice.

Read Next: The Best Blenders for Smoothies, According to a Dietitian

4 Sources
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