15 Recipes to Make Magic With Your Food Processor

December 15, 2019

If you, as a child or as an adult, read Calvin and Hobbes, you'll remember Calvin's transmogrifier. Ostensibly, the transmogrifier was a cardboard box—but we know that it was magic, capable of transforming one thing into another thing almost instantaneously (though only Calvin and Hobbes could see its effects).

If there were a culinary equivalent of the transmogrifier, it would be the food processor. Greens zip into pesto! Bananas become ice cream! Nuts and beans become butters and dips! Magic visible to all!

Here are 15 ways to transmogrify with your food processor (plus a few extra tools):

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1. Donna Hay's Food Processor Carrot Cake by Sarah Jampel

The most (only) annoying thing about carrot cake is the painstaking carrot-grating you have to do. This brilliant cake skips that step by letting you chuck peeled carrot pieces into the food processor to get them finely chopped up. Then, add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl of the food processor, pulse a bit more, and your batter's done.



2. The Kitchn's One-Ingredient Ice Cream by Genius Recipes

This "ice" cream is one of the internet's absolute favorites, and for a few good reasons: It contains exactly one-ingredient (bananas!), and it requires only one bowl (the one of your food processor). Beyond that, you can customize however you want: add nuts, 

Ice cream


3. Raw Vegan Chocolate Coconut Bars by Kendra Vaculin

In these raw chocolate-coconut bars, there's no cooking or baking. There's no sugar. There's not even an extra dish to clean up (you just mix up the sticky batter in your food processor). Thus, there's no reason why you shouldn't be making



4. Calabrian Walnut Cake (Torta di Noci) by Emiko

Your food processor will come to the rescue (once again!) in this three-ingredient walnutty wonder. It's even better the next day (if it lasts that long). 



5. Key Lime Pie by Yossy Arefi

It's hard to imagine a pie that's more refreshing—or easier—than key lime. The filling is mixed together in a bowl in mere seconds, and the graham cracker crust is blitzed up in the food processor in a few more. Press in the crust into a pie plate, pour in the filling, and boom. 



6. Gazpacho Without a Recipe by Rémy Robert 

You may need a food processor to make gazpacho, but you certainly don't need a recipe! Just combine the freshest, ripest tomatoes you can find, a handful of cucumbers or sweet peppers, some corn, zucchini, herbs, aromatics, and whatever other summer bounty you like best—and give it a whir in your food processor till smoothish. Enjoy with a spoon and a generous drizzle of olive oil.



7. All About Grinding Meat by Catherine Lamb

Did you know you don't need a meat grinder to make the juiciest, freshest-tasting burgers around? Instead, rely on—yep, you guessed it!—your handy-dandy food processor. 


More: Now that you've ground your meat, make a burger with it.


8. Turnip Burgers by Alexandra Stafford

Speaking of burgers, this hearty vegetarian spin—made with food-processed turnips, rice, seeds, and zingy herbs—will quickly replace your favorite frozen variety (and be just as easy to whip up).



9. World's Easiest Falafel and Tzatziki by marisab67

The food processor does twice the work in this recipe, so you don't have to: it brings together the herby chickpea mix for our (pan-fried!) falafels, and then blitzes up our creamy, zippy tzatziki. 


10. Variegated Spiced Latkes by Sagegreen

Parsnips, sweet potatoes, ginger, russets, onions—all stuff we love to eat, but don't necessarily love to shred finely for latke-making. The food processor handles the tough part, so you can get to the fun: the frying. 



11. Nut Butter Without a Recipe by Marian Bull

The ultimate food-processor magic trick? Turning dry-roasted nuts into the smoothest, nuttiest nut butters you ever did see. Just toss the nuts into the processor, add a pinch of salt, then let 'er rip for between two and five minutes to get your desired creaminess.

Nut butter


12. Alice's House Truffles 4.0 by Alice Medrich

These rich, deeply chocolatey truffles lean on the food processor to give them a cloudlike, whipped texture with next-to-nothing cleanup. One community member called them "divine";  another, "very clever"; and yet another, "a winner." 



13. Whip Up Your Own Coconut Butter by Ashley McLaughlin

Similar to our nut-butter disappearing act, you can use your food processor to make coconut butter, too. Throw in unsweeted shredded coconut, step away for between 5 and 10 minutes, and come back to smooth, coconutty bliss. 



14. Tara Duggan's Chard Stalk Hummus by Genius Recipes

The food processor helps hardy chard stalks transform into smoother-than-smooth hummus, just begging to be drizzled with olive oil and mopped up with pita. 

Chard stalk hummus

More: Prefer a chickpea hummus? We've got a recipe for that, too.


15. Kale Pesto Orechiette by Brussels Sprouts for Breakfast

Pesto is one of the food processor's natural allies—it needs to be smooth, but not too smooth, chunky, but not too chunky, and able to take on more liquid throughout the process (in this case, through the helpful feeding tube at the top of the machine. This kale variety, chock-full of Parmesan cheese, Dijon mustard, and red pepper flakes, is no exception. 


We originally ran this article in 2015, but we're running an updated version of it today because doesn't a bowl of gazpacho sound fine right about now?

What's your favorite use for your food processor? Share your magic below!


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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Cindy Foreman
    Cindy Foreman
  • emmaackermann
  • Muhamed Riyaz
    Muhamed Riyaz
  • Neha
  • Ericays @ Baby Food Processor
    Ericays @ Baby Food Processor
Writing and cooking in Brooklyn.


Cindy F. June 8, 2022
My favorite thing to make in the food processor is pie crust. So easy.
emmaackermann April 3, 2018
Recently last month I bought a food processor from that also includes many small and large pushers, detachable disc stem, compact flat cover with recipe DVD.
But there is only limited color choice (black ,silver and white ) so do you have any other color choice.

emmaackermann April 2, 2018
Really its look amazing all recipes , i also looking for best food processor which is easy to use and a snap to clean. As I am not very much familiar with complex recipes but definitely helps me this is the best choice for me because it helps me to chop evenly in versatile way. I want the best deals on the best food processor for my kitchen.
Muhamed R. January 19, 2018
I thought I was the only one who had a love affair with food processors so large that she has 3 different kinds, with backups of each. They are just SO AMAZING.
These are some great ideas…I need to get on the food processor ice cream train! Pinning! Here are the ones i'm looking at
Neha November 19, 2017
I really amazed by seeing these recipes looks yummy. I like the easiest one ie Falafel. Once you get a food processor then lot of things you will avoid from buying outsite. You can easily use your food processor the make those. If you are planning to buy a food processor then you can check the best comparison chart at
Ericays @. November 4, 2017
Ever since I bought my food processor, I have stopped buying minced meat from the store since I do not trust the tools that's they use to process meat. I takes only few minutes to grind meat in a food processor and gives you some peace of mind. Find the best baby food processors at
Amber L. October 31, 2017
Exactly a few minutes ago I was reading this review of food processors and had some doubt, whether to buy it. But after this article, I have no doubt anymore. I am impressed, how many things I can do only with one food processor.
Helen P. September 12, 2017
I still use my faithful Robot Coupe which I received as my "engagement ring" many years ago. From making loads of pesto every year to my lemon squares and does a great job on Ottolenghi - Tamimi Genius hummus.
Merry September 7, 2017
As someone else mentioned, I also have a circa 1984 Cuisinart, the workhorse DLC-X (one very large machine). It still functions perfectly, but seeing this article did remind me of my disastrous attempt to fix a large batch of mashed potatoes in it shortly after it arrived as a gift. HUGE mistake, but at that time, very few people had a Cuisinart and almost none of my friends really cooked so there was a bit of trial and error...
HalfPint September 6, 2017
I love to make Stella Parks' whipped cream frosting. Basically 3 ingredients: freeze dried fruit, whipping cream, and a bit of sugar. Blitz fruit and sugar, then add the cream. Total magic in less than 2 minutes. I used this frosting for my baby's 2nd birthday cake.
HalfPint September 6, 2017
Perfect frosting made in a food processor. If it wasn't apparent above.
SandraH September 4, 2017
When I got my first food processor many years ago, I was excited to find out that it did grind meat. Since then, I've used it for my annual December meatball making night of my Mom's recipe which calls for ground ham and ground pork. With now having grandchildren and extended family who also like those meatballs with their turkey dinner, I grind up about 8 lbs of cooked smoked ham (I buy 2 or 3 small hams to total around 8 1/2 lbs (4 kg) to have enough once I trim off the skin) then cut into cubes and grind in batches. However I do buy the 8 lbs of fresh. minced ham to mix the ground ham with. I also need a sandwich loaf's worth of breadcrumbs so use the processor first to grind up torn slices of bread into fresh crumbs and then use it for the batches of ham. It's funny that I've used the processor all these years to grind up ham and beef, but have never used it to grind up pork. Also, when making a big batch of bolognese-type sauce I use it to process the onions, carrots and celery which saves fine-dicing time.

For Tiffany - I've used a Kitchen Aid food processor for the past 7 or 8 years, but had a Cuisinart in the past (still works). Both are great.
SandraH September 6, 2017
Sorry, meant to say that "However I do buy the 8 lbs of fresh ground pork to mix the ground ham with."
Tim C. April 26, 2017
Food processors come in all sorts of sizes and functions. Those asking for recommendations refere to this guide
HalfPint August 5, 2016
I'm trying the new whipped cream with freeze dried fruit that Stella Parks wrote about on Serious Eats. I have a feeling that this is going to be my favorite use for the food processor :)
Mahadi H. June 28, 2016
i use cuisinart food processor . and the performance of the cuisinart food processor is really excellent . i would love a recommendation for cuisinart .
Tiffany September 16, 2015
would love a recommendation for a food processor (that can be purchased new. I know everyone i've asked has an old one that they love but i'm new to the cooking scene.
Caroline L. September 16, 2015
hi tiffany! you should ask our hotline—i'm sure someone would have a recommendation for you! (i have a mini cuisinart that does everything i need it to.)
Vitaly January 10, 2016
Tiffany, I'm new to the cooking scene too. And by far the food processor I am really going to buy is DeLonghi 9-cup food processor. I'm only afraid it's a little bit overpriced because of the brand. But it's still affordable according to these listings -
I hope, it helps. And I'll be glad to hear which food processor you bought if any, Tiffany.
Caroline S. September 14, 2015
These look amazing. Makes me want to go downstairs to get my food processor!
ChefJune July 23, 2015
I use my food processor (Cuisinart, vintage 1984) almost every day I am in my kitchen. I worked for Cuisinart for many years teaching folks all the things made easier by using their food processors. The very first recipe I posted here on Food52 requires a food processor:!
Here are some other food processor recipes I love:,,,,,,,
And before the advent of the stick blender, it was a necessity for puréeing soups.
AntoniaJames July 22, 2015
The food processor makes this tamarind - cilantro - soy - lime sauce so easy. The stand alone version is here: Especially good for fish (or leftover roast chicken) wrapped in phulka roti .

Ottolenghi - Tamimi Genius hummus

Rough chopping huge quantities of stone fruit, with the peels on (!) for jam

This hidden gem - a staple in my kitchen. It should be in yours, too, especially if you live in a place where it's hot during the summer.

And then there are the crumb crusts . . . . and the cheesecake fillings . . . . and bread crumbs . . . . and bourbon balls . . . . and lightly chopped pecans for our holiday nut crescents . . . . . and the list goes on.