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.
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.)
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.
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.
Related Reading: The Best Chickpea Recipes Besides Hummus
A great salad dressing that is also perfect to use as chip or pretzel fodder. Get the Perfect Caesar Dressing recipe.
Toasted sesame oil lends a nutty flavor to this healthy Asian-inspired take on hummus. Get our White Bean and Edamame Hummus recipe.
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.
It’s packed with vitamins and vibrant pink—couldn’t ask for more. Get the Roasted Beet Hummus recipe.
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.
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.
This is great with chicken wings at night and eggs the next morning, but beware: It packs some serious heat. Get our Harissa recipe.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
Header image by Chowhound.