5 Best Food Processor For Pesto Options [Expert’s Guide In 2022]

There is no denying that the taste and smell of homemade pesto are hard to resist. This Italian-originated sauce is not only delicious, but the fresh green accent will add a sensational touch to any plain food. 

Having said that, making flavorful pesto without a mess can be tricky especially if you don’t have the best tool around. Traditionalists insist on using a pestle and mortar, but many chefs believe food processors work equally well. Better yet, they save a lot of time and eliminate the hassle of manual labor in a busy household kitchen.

And, if you’re too looking for your best food processor for pesto, we’ve got you covered today. We put together a list of the top 5 best food processors for pesto that you’ll never regret buying. They aren’t only great for making pesto, they will do more than just that.

You can go for any of the options from the list with full confidence because they are all suggested by expert chefs and backed up by our extensive research. With that being said, here is our list of the top 5 best food processors for pesto:

  1. Hamilton Beach 8-cup Food Processor – best overall for pesto 
  2. Ninja Blender/Food Processor (QB1004) – best for versatility  
  3. KitchenAid KFC3516WH 3.5 Cup Food Processor – best for user-friendliness
  4. Cuisinart DLC-2ABC Mini-Prep Plus – best mini food processor for pesto
  5. AmazonBasics 4-Cup Food Processor – best budget-friendly option

*Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This post contains affiliate links. We’ll receive a small commission if you purchase any product using our links with no extra cost on your side. Please note that we only suggest high-quality products that have been tested and considered useful by experts.

ProductPriceCapacityDimension (LxWxH)WeightMaterialOperationMotorPrice (USD)
Hamilton Beach Food ProcessorCheck Price8 Cup8.4 x 10.71 x 15.57 inches5 PoundsMix (Stainless Steel, Plastic, Polycarbonate)2 Speed + Pulse Option450 wattsCheck Price
Ninja Blender/Food Processor (QB1004)Check Price5 cup48.7 x 18.5 x 29.5 inches1 poundPlasticPower Pod (Single Pulse Control)450 wattsCheck Price
KitchenAid KFC3516WH 3.5 Cup Food ProcessorCheck Price3.5 Cup5.6 x 7 x 8.7 inches2.7 PoundsPlastic2 speeds and Pulse operation240 wattsCheck Price
Cuisinart DLC-2ABC Mini-Prep Plus Food ProcessorCheck Price3 Cup5 x 7 x 9.25 inches2.20 PoundsPlastic2 Settings - Chop and Grind250 wattsCheck Price
Amazon Basics 4-Cup Food ProcessorCheck Price4 Cup8.5 x 8.5 x 15 inches4.7 PoundsPlastic2 Button Control - On, OFF/Pulse450 wattsCheck Price

Our Review of Best Food Processor For Pesto In 2021

Hopefully, the table above gives you a good first impression as you pursue your food processor for pesto. We’ll go over the details of these food processors in the next section, but don’t forget to read the in-depth buying guide that follows and FAQs at the end for additional information. 

Now let’s see if those food processors can live up to the needs, deliver the best pesto for you, and make the process as easy as it can be!

1. Hamilton Beach Food Processor

There are many food processors that can be used to make homemade pesto, but we found this ‘Hamilton Beach’ the most durable and high-quality of the bunch. This food processor has received over ten thousand 5-star ratings on Amazon, which explains why we ranked it on the top spot. This kitchen tool is extremely useful for making a variety of food, fast!

This is a mid-sized food processor measuring about 15 ½ inches tall and 10.7 inches wide. Don’t let this fool you! If you have a pasta party coming up, the 8 cup work bowl will make enough pesto for you in a jiffy!

This splendid device has a sharp S-blade for chopping and mixing, as well as a reversible disc for shredding and slicing. With these accessories, you can puree pesto, shred cheese, slice salad, and more, smoothly, in no time!

Furthermore, the food processor is equipped with a 450-watt motor to handle any ingredients you throw at it. Its two-speed plus pulse setting is pretty simple but offers the control you need for a variety of recipes.

Lastly, this Hamilton Beach food processor boasts a compact design but what makes it exceptional is the top lid that can be flipped over and nested within the bowl. If you have pushed for storage space in the kitchen this will make your life so much easier!

What’s Nice About it?
  • Has two suction cups at the base to prevent the food processor from moving around
  • Very powerful and ridiculously fast! It can mix and puree ingredients completely in seconds
  • Easy to use and simple enough to install. The bowl sets onto the base with one hand
  • The chopping blade keep drawing foods from the top towards the center for uniform results
What We Don't Like?
  • The tool is extremely loud. However, because it prepares foods in least of time, you won’t have to sustain the noise for long

 

2. Ninja Blender/Food Processor (QB1004)

If you’re looking for the most versatile yet simple pesto food processor, the Ninja Master Prep (QB1004) is the one to get. This is a food processor that also functions as a blender and a food chopper.

 This device features a power pod that offers an easy one-touch operation. Just press the chrome pulsing button on top and it will handle all your chopping, blending, and food processing needs.

One key strength of this tool is that the pod easily switches between three separate jars: 

  • 5 cup food processor for meal preparation
  • 6 cup pitcher for blending frozen fruits into smoothies
  • 2 cup chopper bowl chopping fresh ingredients evenly

These jars make this a multi-tasking tool with their own set of blades. The blades are multi-layered letting you serve yourself and the guest instantly! Dozens of reviewers also reported that the blades are sharp just as advertised by the manufacturer.   

All of the jars are dishwasher safe, so cleaning after use is a breeze. Because the power pod is interchangeable, the motor in it doesn’t have to go into the dishwasher along with the jars which are equally amazing. All in all, this really looks like the best food processor for pesto, if you don’t mind the extra dollar it costs to obtain.

What’s Nice About It?
  • The 450-watt motor makes the perfectly smooth and delicious pesto in a quick time
  • It’s a versatile food processor that can mince, dice, chop, blend, and puree in seconds
  • Splash guards are included to prevent liquids from splattering on the work surface
  • The medium and large container has a pouring spout, makes adding liquid to the pitcher a breeze
What We Don’t Like?
  • The mixing lids have many nooks and crannies, they’ll make cleaning somewhat difficult

3. KitchenAid KFC3516WH 3.5 Cup Food Processor

Any food processor guides would be incomplete without the industry leader, KitchenAid. That’s why we are here with a KitchenAid food processor that works wonderfully well for pesto!

This food processor looks elegant and the black color just adds to the overall look.

However, that’s not the reason we’ve picked this one into the list to review.

 This small and lightweight food processor will fit into any kitchen setting at any time. A ton of satisfied users have also described this as a “tiny but mighty” food processor. Thanks to the uniquely designed blade, the food processor will chop your vegetables instantly.

With 2 speed and a Pulsing feature, you won’t be messing around with complicated settings in the kitchen. You can adjust the texture of your food and produce either a chunky or finely pureed pesto. In addition, you have a handy pouring spout on the lid to drizzle in olive oil while your pesto is processing.

The fact that all of its removable parts are dishwasher safe adds to the ease of use of this tool. Overall, for the price, you cannot get any better than this KitchenAid KFC3516WH food processor!

What’s Nice About It?
  • The size of this food processor is ideal for single servings and small families
  • It’s very easy to use and doesn’t take up an exorbitant amount of space in the kitchen
  • Unlike other mini processors, it has a drizzle basin on the lid for emulsified preparations
  • Affordable food processor. Perfect for people who don’t cook very often
What We Don’t Like?
  • Despite being a 3.5 cup processor, it can’t mince more than 2 cups of ingredients at a time perfectly

4. Cuisinart DLC-2ABC Mini-Prep Plus Food Processor

Cuisinart DLC-2ABC Mini-Prep Plus is another very easy-to-use food processor that you can buy at an affordable price. This is a perfect size food processor if you belong to a small family.

 Cuisinart DLC-2ABC Mini-Prep Plus has an auto-reversible blade, with a simple touchpad control for chopping and grinding. When you press the chopping button the blade will spin on its sharper side, making it ideal for chopping and pureeing soft foods. 

Conversely, if you press the grinding function, the blade will automatically spin on its blunt side and do the teary, dirty work for you. So with this machine in hand, you won’t have to worry about mincing or chopping those hard cheeses manually again. 

In addition, the 250-watt motor will give you the right amount of power for the perfectly smooth, delicious pesto that you’re aiming for.

The other thing that is really nice about this food processor is the lid that has two holes. It lets you incorporate any kind of liquid right through the top of the work bowl. Because it drips a little at a time, it creates a perfect emulsion for dressing and mayonnaise.

This is a compact food Processor measuring 5” L x 7” W x 9.25” H when fully assembled, to save you more countertop and storage space in the kitchen. Overall, if you’re looking for a small but versatile food processor for pesto, the Cuisinart DLC-2ABC Mini-Prep Plus will be your best friend!

What’s Nice About It?
  • Highly trusted brand. You’ll never regret buying a Cuisinart kitchen tool
  • Perfect processor for those not willing to invest in a heavy-duty machine
  • Versatile. Offers almost all the functionalities of a full-sized food processor
  • Dishwasher safe parts. Spatula, recipe book included. Offers an 18-month warranty
What We Don’t Like?
  • Two automatic processing functions and no Pulse control.

5. AmazonBasics 4-Cup Food Processor

This AmazonBasics Food Processor is a bit larger and more powerful than the other mini-processors we’ve reviewed above. Still, it is the least expensive option on our list. However, that doesn’t mean to say it is a poor-quality food processor. Indeed it comes with a robust  450-watt motor to give you a quick, effective result every time!

With interchangeable blade and disc options, the unit can perform various jobs such as chopping, shredding, and blending without tearing. You’ll also be impressed that this food processor offers many culinary creations while maintaining perfect consistency. It can chop herbs, knead doughs, puree pesto sauces, dips, and more. 

The two On and OFF/Pulse button control is simple enough to use. On top of that, its interlocking bowl, lid, and non-skidding suction feet make the machine easier and safer to operate. 

All things considered, it is safe to say that this AmazonBasics kitchen tool has everything you could want in a food processor that makes delicious pesto!

What’s Nice About It?
  • Stay stable on countertop during use, operates with little to no spillage, and noise
  • Large enough to prepare ample quantity, but still an ideal size for manageable home use
  • The machine removable parts are dishwasher safe, the bowl comes apart easily for cleaning
  • Comparing to the other food processors in its range, the price seems very reasonable
What We Don’t Like?
  • A bit flimsy construction. You get what you pay for. It’s a great low-cost food processor but if you cook a lot at home from scratch consider investing in a better machine.

Getting The Best Food Processor For Pesto: Buying Guide 

When it comes to food processors, your options are endless. However, we’re concerned with preparing pesto in this case, which requires mixing up a variety of ingredients, solid and liquid. Pay attention to the following features. Hopefully, you’ll avoid costly mistakes and find your desired food processor with ease.

best food processor for pesto

Blade:

A food processor equipped with sharp, metal blades is the best way to make the most flavorful pesto. Besides, if you’re opting for a bigger-sized processor be sure that the blade is well matched to the size of the bowl. If there are large gaps between the wall and the blades, you might end up with a chunkier, less than ideal pesto. 

Motor:

Your food processor should be powerful enough that cuts through tough foods like pine nuts as smoothly as softer items like basil leaves without issues. Otherwise, the pesto will not be as finely chopped as you would like, or you’ll have to pulse it for an extended period to achieve the desired result.

Pulse Feature:

A food processor with a pulse function is extremely useful for making an evenly chopped and tasty pesto. It allows you to customize the texture of your food as you prepare it. You can stop it at any time, scrape the ingredients from the wall towards the blade, and then run a few paces to achieve the desired thickness. 

Automatic food processing can be problematic because the motor at the base can become hot and impair the flavor. Pulsing and stopping periodically will give it some time to cool down, thereby solving this issue.

Lid:

While processing pesto you might have to open the lid for several occasions to mix the ingredients. That’s why it is best to avoid a food processor that doesn’t come with a quick-release top lid. A food processor that allows you to add ingredients without opening the lid, will further ease the process. Additionally, a flip-over lip will be very convenient to store. 

Other Factors to Consider:

People usually don’t buy a food processor just to use it for one recipe. Even if you want the best food processor for pesto, you’re going to need to consider some factors to make it a long-term investment. We hope you make a wise decision while keeping the following considerations in mind.

Size:

Food splatter is a common issue when making pesto in a food processor. This happens when you try to make smaller batches in a large processor. That’s why we’ve included mini food processors in our list to help you with small kitchen jobs.

However, it is worth noting that pesto freezes well, so you can make large batches of pesto and store it in the fridge for several days. If this is what you plan to do, you should definitely go for a bigger processor.  With such a food processor you can do a lot of kitchen work in one place as well.

Functionality:

To make the perfect pesto, you’ll need a food processor that chops ingredients finely and smoothly. A multi-functional food processor should also be capable of dicing, pureeing, and grating vegetables with minimal effort. Check to see if your chosen one can handle all of these tasks without issues. Usually, a food processor with multiple blades or attachment options offers a lot of use.  

Durability:

The base of a food processor should be strong and stable so that it can chop hard foods, such as the nuts in your pesto, without bouncing around. Furthermore, high-quality food processors should not have any flimsy parts or defective gaskets seal to prevent liquid leaks.

Cleaning:

Due to the fast-moving blades of a food processor, your food will get everywhere at some point. That’s why it is imperative to check that the food processor you’re considering is simple to clean both the outside and inside of it. Additionally, you won’t like scraping out foods from awkward places. Besides, a food processor with lots of moving parts is always difficult to clean. 

Storage:

Finally, before purchasing a large food processor, make sure you have enough space you have in your cabinets, or on your kitchen counter to store it for easy access.

⇒Also Read: Best food processor for salsa

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

Q1. Should I use a food processor instead of a pestle and mortar for pesto?

Food processors shred ingredients, whereas pestles and mortars crush them and create curry paste. Traditionalists insist on manual pesto because they believe crushing releases the most amount of flavor. 

Many chefs, on the other hand, recommend food processors for their no-fuss, quick meal preparation. Some argue that the minor flavor changes aren’t worth the extra effort. Perhaps using them in combination is the right way to go. You get the best of both worlds, true flavor with a smooth texture and minimal effort! 

Q2. Which is better for making pesto, a blender, or a food processor?

Both blenders and food processors are almost identical and perform equally well for pureeing foods, making dips or smoothies. However, a blender can’t effectively chop or dice vegetables, and this is where the need for a food processor comes in. 

In addition, unlike food processors, blenders can’t perform uniform cuts on solid items such as pine nuts. You also need to add some liquid, periodically stop it and mix the ingredients with a spatula to help make it work. If you want to save time and enjoy a more dried, coarsely pureed pesto, food processors are therefore a far better option.

Q3. Can you chop basil in a food processor?

Yes. With the shredding blade in place, a well-rounded food processor should be able to finely chop basil leaves, probably not in the most uniform sizes, but as per the presentation are concerned they go well with most dishes.

Q4. How do you make pesto in a food processor?

To make pesto in a food processor, first put the garlic in it and ‘Pulse’ until they’re coarsely chopped. When you’re finished, scrape the bowl and keep them closer to the blade. Now leave the pine nuts chunky into the processor, press and release ‘pulse’ a few times again. Once the mix is well incorporated, add the remaining ingredients i.e., the grated cheese, fresh basil leaves, and ½ cup of olive oil, and repeat the ‘Pulse’ operation until you reach your desired consistency. 

Q5. What is pesto used for?

Pesto is a potent and versatile food appetizer that is widely enjoyed in or on various dishes. You can use pesto sauce as a salad dresser, spread on sandwiches, and more. People love topping pesto with cooked pasta, and pizzas. You can add it to dishes like rice, risotto, and mashed potatoes as well as meats, fish, and vegetables to enhance their flavor profile. 

Q6. What can I add to pesto to make it better?

If it’s too bitter, add a pinch of salt. Adding salt will also give it more zing. If you like your pesto creamier, multiply the amount of Parmesan cheese. You can thin out the pesto by adding more (olive) oil. Garlic will also help to add another layer of flavor if you need it. Don’t overdo; adjust the ingredients to your taste and the dish at hand.

Wrapping Up 

Despite being a traditional Italian sauce that originated in Liguria, pesto remains popular in the rest of the world. No surprise, this amazing food appetizer is widely available in grocery stores, still, some people prefer homemade pesto to store-bought options. If you are one of those homemade pesto fans, a food processor will be extremely handy given that you choose the best one wisely. 

We hope that the information covered in this article was helpful and you are able to embark on the best food processors for pesto before the next pasta party!

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