Shopping & Reviews

The Best Mini Food Processors Make Meal Prep A Breeze

Chop veggies, grind nut butters, and blend hummus with the push of a finger.

By Leah Scalzadonna


Published on July 29, 2022

A food processor is a necessity for every home cook, making time-consuming tasks like grating cheese or dicing onions a breeze—but it doesn’t have to be an enormous, counter-space-hogging appliance. If you’re looking for a compact tool to help you grind nut butter, blend hummus, and chop veggies for yourself and a handful of others, a mini food processor is a must-have. Small enough to sit on the counter and move around with ease, the best mini food processors can produce several cups of everything from salsas to baby food, often with just the press of a button. Plus, they make quick work of meal and ingredient prep. We read countless reviews and interviewed numerous recipe developers and chefs to curate our selection of the best mini food processors for apartments, dorms, and kitchens of all sizes.

Best Overall

Weight: Two pounds seven ounces | Capacity: Three cup | Bowl Material: Plastic | Cordless: No

Pros


  • Dishwasher safe
  • Reversible blade
  • Lightweight

Cons


  • Liquids will splatter out of pour spout when running

Why we chose it: Small but mighty, this user-friendly processor packs a punch.

With 220-watt power and a three-cup capacity, Cuisinart’s Mini-Prep Food Processor packs a strong performance inside a small package. The reversible steel blade allows cooks to switch between grinding and chopping without switching attachments. Unlike most mini food processors, the Cuisinart is operated by pressing a button rather than pushing down the top, which allows more control over the texture of your final product. The machine is built to last, with many claiming they’ve had theirs for years. Abigail Harris-Shea, a recipe developer known as Bon-Abbetit, says “It has stayed with me through every apartment move over the last 10 years. It still works perfectly, it's so portable and very versatile.”

Best Budget: Ninja Express Chop

Best Budget

Weight: One pound | Capacity: 16 ounces (about two cups) | Bowl Material: Plastic | Cordless: No

Pros


  • Dishwasher safe
  • Included storage lid
  • Lightweight

Cons


  • Only holds about two cups
  • No speed control

Why we chose it: A budget-friendly choice with a lid that doubles as storage.

With a splash guard that doubles as a storage lid, the Ninja Express Chop takes salsas from the processor to the fridge with ease. It only holds about two cups, but that’s plenty for chopping garlic, grinding nut butter, or whipping up a pesto. The processor is operated by pushing down the top, which means it’s up to the user to set the speed and texture. It may take a bit to get the hang of it, but once you do, you’ll have chopped vegetables, smoothies, and purees ready in a flash.

Best Versatile

Weight: Three pounds | Capacity: Three and a half cups | Bowl Material: Plastic | Cordless: No

Pros


  • Dishwasher safe
  • Settings for chopping and pureeing
  • Slightly larger than other options

Cons


  • Can be difficult to lock the bowl and lid in place

Why we chose it: A reputable product with specific settings for chopping and pureeing.

Ranked as one of our best food processors under $100, this small gadget is detailed and powerful. With speed settings for chopping and pureeing, it’s a breeze to mince garlic, blend shakes, and chop nuts. The machine is controlled by pressing down on the handle, so everything must be perfectly aligned before using. It can be a bit tricky to twist the bowl and lid until they lock in place, but it’s worth it. Shanika Graham-White, author and content creator of the Orchids + Sweet Tea blog and cookbook, says, “It has a great pulsing system and works on two different types of speed, which breaks down ingredients really well. I use it for little ingredients like nuts, small batches of crackers, to make sauces, to grate cheese, and to chop small amounts of veggies.”

Best for Beginners

Weight: Two pounds | Capacity: Three cups | Bowl Material: Plastic | Cordless: No

Pros


  • Dishwasher safe
  • Includes a hideaway cord
  • Powerful

Cons


  • No speed controls
  • No pour spout for liquids

Why we chose it: A stackable, push-controlled processor that’s basically foolproof.

Putting together this processor is as easy as stacking the parts—no twisting or locking needed. To use it, simply press down on the lid to pulse or hold it down to create a puree. The machine is basic, with no pour spout or speed controls, but it’s incredibly easy to assemble, use, and clean.

Best Ultra-Small

Weight: Less than one pound | Capacity: 250 milliliters (about one cup) | Bowl Material: Plastic | Cordless: Yes

Pros


  • Dishwasher safe
  • Cordless
  • Portable

Cons


  • Small
  • Lid doesn’t lock into place

Why we chose it: A small, portable processor perfect for chopping garlic.

If you hate squeezing a garlic press or chopping it by hand, this is the tool you need. It’s on the smaller side, but perfect for ingredients like ginger and onion, too. As Alyse Whitney, food writer, recipe developer, and editor, says, “I love a garlic press, but mine was getting a little annoying to clean and I felt I was losing some garlic yield from it. I saw a mini chopper like this on TikTok and searched for one. It's rechargeable, powerful, and easy to clean; two parts are dishwasher-safe, and the other is the motorized top which I just wipe clean with a little bit of soap and water until it doesn't reek like garlic. This is such a time-saver for me when I am prepping ingredients—especially when I get pre-peeled garlic at the Asian market.”

Best Cordless

Weight: Two and three quarter pounds | Capacity: Five cups | Bowl Material: Plastic | Cordless: Yes

Pros


  • High capacity
  • Available in multiple colors
  • Cordless

Cons


  • Pricey

Why we chose it: A cordless food processor that holds up to five cups, with options to chop, whip, and puree.

Be the host with the most thanks to this convenient gadget. With a whisk attachment and multi-purpose blade, you can do everything from whip cream to blend soups. And, since it’s cordless, you can take it anywhere and everywhere. It does take a while to charge, but once the battery is full, the machine operates with considerable power.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Mini Food Processor

Purpose 

The right mini food processor for you depends on what you’re using it for—and how often you’ll be using it. Sam Rehn, the baker behind buttermilkbysam.com, says “The strength of the processor is always important, and other than that I think it depends on your needs—what are you most likely going to be using it for, and will it serve that function? I don't think it needs to be an expensive purchase. There are plenty out there that are affordable and work wonders.”

Strength

A mini food processor should be strong enough to chop, grind, or puree—after all, that’s why it was purchased. Exactly how strong it should be depends on the purpose. If you’re looking for something exclusively for garlic, like the Ayotee wireless option, it doesn’t need to be insanely powerful. Otherwise, look for something with stainless steel blades that can run at a high speed. 

Capacity

“When looking for a mini food processor, it’s great to start at a two-cup or three-cup size,” Graham-White says. “This gives you enough capacity without it being too large.” While three cups is not a huge amount, it’s enough to chop an onion, make a batch of salsa, or grind a considerable amount of peanut butter. You may need to add ingredients in pieces or batches, as you don’t want to overload the processor. Don’t fill the basin all the way up, as you could end up with puree on the bottom and chunks on the top.

Ask the Experts

Is a mini chopper the same as a food processor?

Technically, a mini chopper is a manual tool that you use to chop vegetables. However, a mini food processor can serve the same purpose. The only advantage of a mini chopper is that it allows you to control the size and shape of each cut to ensure that the vegetables are uniform. 

What can I use a mini food processor for?

“So many things,” says Harris-Shea “Breadcrumbs, soups, sauces, you name it! These days I make a lot of sauces and a ton of pesto.” It’s a valuable tool for bakers, too. Rehn uses hers for “chopping nuts, grinding freeze-dried berries, and mason jar sorbets,” she says. Occasionally, she’ll use her Cuisinart processor to whip cream, too. 

How many watts should a food processor be?

“I recommend getting at least 110 volts in wattage,” Graham-White says. For the best precision, she also recommends ensuring that the blades are stainless steel. However, wattage is less important than personal preference. Whitney says, “I don't look for wattage. I just looked for something small, rechargeable, and easy to clean.”

Final Thoughts

A mini food processor is a convenient, lightweight tool that can be useful in every kitchen. We recommend the Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus Food Processor because it’s powerful, fitted with a reversible steel blade, and operated by pressing a button.

Methodology 

When considering what mini food processors to include on this list, we used three factors: basin capacity, price point, and how well the processor both chops and purees. We considered all of them to determine the best mini food processors for each category. Additionally, we spoke to several well-known recipe developers and content creators, including Sam Rehn, Shanika Graham-White, Alyse Whitney, and Abigail Shea to get their top picks and guidance on how to best use these small, powerful appliances. 

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