4 Surprising Ways to Use a Food Processor, According to Chefs

If there’s an MVP of small kitchen appliances, it is undoubtedly the food processor. Capable of chopping, blending, emulsifying, and just about any other culinary gerund in the dictionary, this countertop tool is about as versatile as your own cooking repertoire. Whether you’re looking to quickly dice onions without crying, create chunky almond butter without breaking a sweat, or whip up a quick spread for your guests to ooh and aah over, the food processor can come to the rescue. (If you're looking for a cost-effective option, the Pampered Chef Manual Food Processor takes care of any chopping and mincing needs without an outlet.)

Experts In This Article
  • Jio Dingayan, Jio Dingayan is the pastry chef at Tobiuo Sushi & Bar.
  • Jose Arevalo, Jose Arevalo is the Creole chef at Brennan’s of Houston.
  • Lexy Garcia, Lexy Garcia is the Chef de Cuisine at the astounding Pier 6 Seafood & Oysters in San Leon, Texas.
  • Mark Payne, Mark Payne is the general manager of the Dupont Hotel.
  • Phil Skerman, Phil Skerman is the executive chef at the Ritz-Carlton’s new restaurant Santé in Pentagon City.
  • Rachel King, Rachel King is a pastry chef and the culinary director behind Kaneh Co.
  • Ryan Moore, executive chef at Sababa and Little Blackbird in Washington
  • Sherman Yeung, Sherman Yeung is the chef and owner at Tobiuo Sushi & Bar in Houston,

Given the many uses of the mighty food processor, it comes as little surprise that even the most expert cooks among us—that is to say, chefs—have carved out a special place in their hearts for the appliance. After discovering how chefs use food processors, you might be surprised by the range of delicious outcomes—and inspired to follow their lead.

Make gourmet staple ingredients 


Milling your own flour may not be as hard as it seems. Lexy Garcia, chef de cuisine at Pier 6 Seafood & Oyster House in San Leon, Texas uses her food processor to grind rolled oats into flour to make pancakes.


Another staple ingredient you can make using a food processor is butter. Garcia will whip heavy cream until it goes past the whipped cream stage and enters into the butter phase (which she then uses on her pancakes).


Sherman Yeung, chef and owner at Tobiuo Sushi & Bar in Houston, says, “I use my food processor to make kombu salt, basically blitzing kombu (dried kelp) with salt and then sifting to get a really umami-packed salt blend.”

Nut butters

If you’re looking to enhance a dessert with some nut butter, your food processor is certainly the way to go. “Basically, blitz the nuts until it releases all the oils and becomes smooth,” says Jio Dingayan, pastry chef at Tobiuo Sushi & Bar. “To give it extra depth, I add honey, maple syrup, or vanilla bean.”

Whip up a killer entree 


Ryan Moore, executive chef at SABABA in Washington, D.C. is such a fan of his high-powered food processor (called a blixer) that it claims an entire station in his kitchen. Moore and his team uses the food processor to make a wide range of Mediterranean offerings, including hummus, tahina sauces, muhammura, harissa, and yes, falafel.

Meatballs (or meatloaf) 

If you’re in a pinch and need some ground meat for your favorite meatball or meatloaf recipe, your food processor can easily come to the rescue. “Food processors are great for grinding meat,” says Jose Arevalo, Creole chef at Brennan’s of Houston. “I have had to throw a filet in a food processor at last minute when we’ve run out of ground meat.” The food processor allows you to control the cut of your meat for a more customized grinding process.

Chickpea fries 

At the Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City's new restaurant, Santé, executive chef Phil Skerman says the food processor is an integral part of making one of the team’s signature dishes: chickpea fries. “We first puree (in the food processor) soaked and cooked chickpeas, garlic, and cumin, and then whisk that into chickpea flour and vegetable stock and cook it all together for 20 minutes,” he says. “Then we take an additional step of putting that mixture back into the food processor and mixing together to add air and fluffiness to this mix.” Finally, the mixture is poured out flat and chilled, cut into strips and deep-fried, and served with the restaurant’s citrus Greek yogurt dip.

Create a delectable sauce or condiment 


One of Chef Moore’s favorite uses of his food processor is to pulverize lemon charcoal into a charred lemon marmalade, which he serves alongside a halloumi cheese dish.

Romesco sauce 

Mark Payne, the general manager of the Dupont Circle Hotel in Washington, D.C., uses his food processor to make a romesco sauce, which traditionally features ground almonds (though you could get a little creative with your nut choices for a bit of a twist). The sauce goes well with grilled meat, fish, or celeriac steak—and it's great for livening up broccolini as a side dish.


If you need a creamy remoulade as a side for your steak or seafood dish, Alex Brennan-Martin, the proprietor at Brennan’s of Houston, recommends that you turn to your food processor. “I use mine to whip up a remoulade when I’m in a hurry,” he notes. After all, those fast-moving blades will make quick work of just about anything.

Spin up a creative dessert

Mango shots

Who says pulverized fruit is only for babies? As Brennan's of Houston pastry chef Sebastian Elias says, “The most unconventional thing I have ever used a food processor for is to whip up mango shots to accompany a dessert.” That acidic hit can be a great accompaniment to a rich, buttery main attraction.

Pecan creme liquor 

Aside from mango shots, you can also make other alcoholic shots with your food processor. Brian Slawson, lead front of house manager and bartender at Brennan’s uses the restaurant’s food processor to grind pecans for the housemade pecan crème liquor used in their N’awlins Chicory Pecan Martini.

Pie crust

Pastry chef Rachel King, who serves as the culinary director behind Kaneh Co, uses her food processor for a wide range of sweet activities. “I use my food processor to make pie dough and to help with protein/granola bars,” she says. “I have also made cookie dough by carefully using the pulse function.”

Oh hi! You look like someone who loves free workouts, discounts for cutting-edge wellness brands, and exclusive Well+Good content. Sign up for Well+, our online community of wellness insiders, and unlock your rewards instantly.

Loading More Posts...