My answer, “It depends.”
A food processor and a blender are two very difference appliances, and which one you buy will depend on what you want to do.
To help you decide which is the best for your needs, I took several different ingredients and ran them each through the blender and the food processor to show you what each machine can do. Here are the results.
Both a food processor and a blender can chop almonds, but a food processor will get them more uniform. Also, with a food processor, you can grind them into large pieces, tiny pieces, and anywhere in between. A blender doesn’t give you that much control.
Both the blender and the food processor do a great job making bread crumbs.
Buckwheat is a fairly soft grain, so it’s easy to make flour from it in your blender.
Making flour in a food processor doesn’t work so well. The flour will be very coarse.
Chopping cabbage in a blender doesn’t work so well – you’ll end up with huge pieces mixed with cabbage mush. I’d rather chop by hand.
Using the slicing blade of a food processor, you can slice several pounds of carrots in seconds. The shredding blade shreds piles of beautifully uniform shreds without shredding your knuckles. You can also use the “S” blade to chop carrots fine.
In a pinch, you could chop carrots with a blender, but you’ll end up with teeny, tiny pieces mixed with very large pieces.
A food processor is the better tool when it comes to grinding nuts, but if you don’t mind a mixture of large pieces with small pieces a blender can be used in a pinch.
This Low-Fat Creamy Italian Salad Dressing is soooo delicious and sooo good for you, it’s worth buying a good blender just so you can make it! Don’t try it in a food processor; it doesn’t work.
If you (like me) want hummus that has some body and a tiny bit of texture to it, a food processor is your weapon of choice. However, if you want your hummus super smooth, you should use a heavy-duty blender.
If your recipe calls for oat flour and you don’t have any on hand, you can make your own in seconds. However, I recommend doing so in a blender (and a Twister jar works even better), not a food processor. A food processor won’t get the flour fine enough.
Parsley and other herbs
I often mince curly parsley (and other herbs) in my food processor and they come out nice and uniform. This time I only had flat leaf parsley, and it didn’t chop as nicely, but it still worked.
Chopping parsley in a blender doesn’t work so well and you end up with lots of big pieces mixed with parsley puree.
Pesto doesn’t really work in a blender; you end up with a yucky green basil puree.
Slicing and shredding potatoes is one of the jobs for which I use my food processor the most. I can make these luscious vegan and gluten-free Skinny Scalloped Potatoes in less than 15 minutes using my food processor.
Smoothies can be made in either a food processor or a blender with good results, but if you want an extra thick smoothie that you can eat with a spoon (like ice cream!) you’ll need a food processor.
You can grind any nuts or seeds in either a food processor or blender, but a food processor will always give you more uniform and more precise results.
Which is the Best Blender?
Which is the Best Food Processor?
There are some really nice food processors on the market. The Kitchenaid 11-cup is a good, durable machine.
Here are some of my favorite recipes using a food processor. Click here for all my recipes that use a food processor.
And my favs using a blender …