white bean and edamame hummus recipe
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When you want—nay, need—a snack but don’t want to spend too much time on it, a food processor is your best friend. You can blitz up something delicious to drizzle or dip in no time, and you can make it healthy too. These food processor or blender dip, spread, and sauce recipes are tempting testament to that fact.

Dips are my favorite food. They are the reason I attend sports-watching get-togethers (or used to before social distancing, anyway) and they are the perfect thing to whip up when you don’t know what you want to eat. I love their variety, from hot and cheesy to cool and minty, and there are few foods I have not used as a vehicle for said dips. Often just my fingers. Each dip, spread, and sauce below is easy to make with a food processor (or a good blender) and reasonably healthy to boot.

Get online, pick out a machine, and soon you’ll be knee-deep in these delicious dips. Keep your fridge stocked with crunchy veggies for scooping them up, but don’t stop at using them as a snack.

Cuisinart 3-Cup Mini Prep Plus Food Processor, $39.95 from Sur La Table

This size is great for smaller jobs like sauces and dips.
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Not only Netflix-watching fuel on weekends, these recipes will make dressing up your lean meats, plain veggies, and baked tofu on weeknights much easier and far more delicious. It’s the most adult purchase you’ll make before buying a house, so come on, stop waiting to get a wedding registry (and a fiancé)—be a grown-up and get a food processor. Then make these (mostly) healthy food processor dip, sauce, and spread recipes.

Pro-tip: Any leftovers make a perfect sandwich condiment or quick pasta sauce for midweek meals! They even make zoodles more exciting. (Well, not the last one on this list, but you’ll love that one too.)

1. Watercress Walnut Dip

watercress walnut dip


Walnuts bring a nutty depth to the bitterness of the watercress, which happens to be one of the healthiest greens you can eat. Get our Watercress Walnut Dip recipe.

2. Chimichurri Sauce

Equally green but totally different in flavor, chimichurri is a great way to use fresh herbs—and a food processor makes quick work of them, too. You can use this as a dip for raw veggies, a marinade, or a sauce for everything from grilled meat to scrambled eggs. Get our Chimichurri Sauce recipe.

3. Kale and Walnut Pesto

spinach pesto recipe for pasta


Take a break from basil pesto and use kale as the flavorful green instead. Walnuts, garlic, and lemon juice lighten things up. It’s perfect for pasta, pizza, and lots more. Get the Kale and Walnut Pesto recipe.

4. Classic Hummus

homemade hummus with vegetables


Just think about how much you spend on hummus at the grocery store, and how much you’ll save making it at home. Get our Hummus recipe.

Related Reading: The Best Chickpea Recipes Besides Hummus

5. Perfect Caesar Dressing

Caesar salad recipe


A great salad dressing that is also perfect to use as chip or pretzel fodder. Get the Perfect Caesar Dressing recipe.

6. White Bean and Edamame Hummus

white bean edamame hummus


Toasted sesame oil lends a nutty flavor to this healthy Asian-inspired take on hummus. Get our White Bean and Edamame Hummus recipe.

7. Green Goddess Dip

green goddess dressing


A healthier and thicker take on the classic Green Goddess dressing, this herb-packed dip will get anyone eating more vegetables. Get the Green Goddess Dip recipe.

8. Whipped Feta with Sweet and Hot Peppers

whipped feta with sweet and hot peppers


Yes, there’s a lot of dairy here, but it’s balanced by fresh bell peppers. Tangy, salty, and spicy—this one is perfect for jazzing up turkey sandwiches or carrot sticks. Get our Whipped Feta with Sweet and Hot Peppers recipe.

9. Roasted Beet Hummus

It’s packed with vitamins and vibrant pink—couldn’t ask for more. Get the Roasted Beet Hummus recipe.

10. Spicy Carrot Hummus

spicy carrot hummus


Another hummus that’s unusually vibrant in both color and flavor, this dip is also extra nutritious thanks to the pound of carrots packed in. Get our Spicy Carrot Hummus recipe.

11. Sweet Pea and Ricotta Crostini with Spring Onion Gremolata

Sweet green peas are blended with fluffy ricotta for a fantastic toast topper, but this elegant snack or appetizer is made even better with the addition of spring onion gremolata and toasted pine nuts. Get the Sweet Pea and Ricotta Crostini with Spring Onion Gremolata recipe.

12. Harissa

homemade harissa pepper paste


This is great with chicken wings at night and eggs the next morning, but beware: It packs some serious heat. Get our Harissa recipe.

13. Spinach Artichoke Dip

Baked Artichoke Spinach Dip


Always a classic, always a hit, this version is lightened up with low fat cheese and light sour cream, but is still plenty rich and creamy. Get the Spinach Artichoke Dip recipe.

14. Fresh Homemade Salsa

A few quick pulses and you’ve got fresh salsa in under a minute. Get the Fresh Homemade Salsa recipe.

Related Reading: 4 Rules for Perfect Salsa, Even without a Recipe

15. Tomatillo Salsa

fresh tomatillo salsa (salsa verde)


Pleasantly chunky and tangy tomatillo salsa is a great addition to tacos or burritos, but also perfect for dipping tortilla chips. Get our Tomatillo Salsa recipe.

16. Vegan Ranch Dressing

A healthy yet incredibly silky and creamy take on ranch, this relies on a base of blended cashews. Get the Vegan Ranch Dressing recipe.

Related Reading: 13 Vegan Sauces That Make Everything Taste Better

17. Peanut Dipping Sauce

peanut sauce recipe


Perfect for skewers, spring rolls, or even cold noodles, you can combine everything in a food processor instead of whisking—and even replace the store-bought peanut butter with fresh roasted peanuts and grind them in the food processor yourself, along with the other ingredients. Get the Peanut Dipping Sauce recipe.

18. Chile Garlic Sauce

easy chile garlic sauce recipe


Grinding fresh chiles, garlic, kosher salt, sugar, and vinegar makes an incredibly simple but flavor-packed dip that’s great on dumplings—and everything else, from rotisserie chicken to roasted broccoli. Get our Chile Garlic Sauce recipe.

19. Raw Vegan Chocolate Mousse

Easy Raw Vegan Chocolate Cinnamon Mousse recipe


We’ll go ahead and count this as a dip because it works wonderfully that way—try scooping it up with fresh fruit like ripe strawberries…or shortbread cookies…or just a spoon (technically you’re still dipping it!). The secret to the creaminess is silky blended avocados. Get the Raw Vegan Chocolate Mousse recipe.

So go ahead, break out your food processor, or buy one if you’ve yet to acquire one…you’ll be glad you did. Until you realize how much you’re spending on crackers.

And if you want to get even more use out of your food processor, try juicing with it. For more tips, tricks, and healthy recipes, check out our healthy living page.

Header image by Chowhound.

Vanessa W. Simmons is a former cook living in San Francisco, helping to run a food business. She’s probably hungry, but if not she could eat.
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