21 Things to Make in the Blender (Besides Smoothies)

Recipes from The Kitchn

If you're in the habit of only using your blender to make smoothies in the morning, you're missing out on all the soups, sauces, and desserts you can make with this multitasking appliance.

Consider this a comprehensive curriculum in just what your blender is capable of. Now the only question is: Where do you want to get started?

1. How To Make Perfect Pesto Every Time

Even if you decide to deviate from the classic basil-only pesto, following this formula will help you end up with a perfectly balanced sauce every time.

2. Carrot-Ginger Dressing

We have yet to find a type of dish this carrot-ginger dressing doesn't go well on. From soba noodles to vegetarian grain bowls to a plain green salad, you'll want to pour it on everything. Better make a double batch.

3. How To Make Hollandaise Sauce in the Blender

Don't let hollandaise sauce intimidate you. It's one of those recipes that's secretly simple, and as soon as you know how to make it (it takes just two minutes in the blender), you'll want to host a brunch to show off your new skill.

4. Kale and Apple Soup

Thanks to the slight sweetness of the apple in this soup, you might even be able to get your kids to eat their greens willingly. Of course, it helps that the kale is cooked with bacon for a slightly smoky taste as well.

5. How To Make Homemade Peanut Butter

Once you've mastered the basic version of this recipe, you can explore fancier variations by mixing in cocoa powder, cinnamon, or your favorite Indian spices.

6. Chocolate Pudding Cups with Coconut Cream

These vegan pudding cups take almost no effort to make since they are whipped up entirely in the blender. The secret is that the pudding is made from a base of dates and avocado.

7. Roasted Butternut Squash Purée with Goat Cheese

You might be able to find a few butternut squash still in the markets before the spring produce takes over. This creamy, comforting soup is the perfect option for those occasional rainy March days.

8. How To Make Homemade Pizza Sauce

Think twice before you buy a jar of pizza sauce. It's beyond easy to make a batch from scratch — especially since you don't have to cook the sauce. All you need is some tomatoes, garlic, basil, and any other spices or seasonings you like.

9. How To Make Almond Milk at Home

If your only experience with almond milk is the store-bought kind, we'll forgive you for not liking it. Try making this version at home, and we bet you'll end up with a new appreciation for the nut-based beverage.

10. Vegan Creamy Curried Cauliflower Soup

We love this recipe for its simplicity. Cook all the ingredients together in one pot, add your favorite spices, and then blend it once everything is cooked through. It's virtually foolproof.

11. How To Make a Small, Quick Batch of Applesauce

If you find yourself with a few extra apples, this is one of our favorite recipes to make. You don't need bushels of fruit or an entire weekend — all it takes is some time on the stove and then in your blender.

12. Roasted Broccoli & Cheddar Soup

Roasting the broccoli florets before blending them into this creamy, cheesy soup adds an extra layer of richness, thanks to the caramelization they get in the oven.

13. Big Pancake aka The Dutch Baby

Who can resist a Dutch Baby or German pancake? Get the blender going on a weekend morning to whip one up for a lazy brunch.

14. How To Make Easy Gazpacho

Gazpacho is one of those endlessly changeable recipes. If you want a little spice, add in more chiles. If you want it more traditional, add in olive oil and bread crumbs. It's completely what you make it. Start with this basic recipe, and then come up with your signature version.

15. Sweet Potato Soup with Miso and Ginger

The combination of umami from the miso and a bit of bite from the ginger makes this recipe an instant classic. It's a great way to use up sweet potatoes and keeps well for busy weeknight dinners.

16. Zucchini Garlic Soup

This soup tastes so creamy, you might be surprised to learn that there isn't any dairy in it (unless you use butter instead of olive oil). The bite of the garlic makes it perfect for those days when a spring chill is still in the air.

17. How To Make Creamy Mexican Horchata with Almonds and Rice

There are few things more refreshing than this spiced Mexican drink on a warm day. You can follow the traditional recipe, which includes dairy and sugar, or experiment with dairy-free versions and alternative sweeteners like agave and dates.

18. Kabocha Squash Soup with Pomegranate and Pepitas

This creamy soup uses the Asian kabocha winter squash, which has a dense, earthy flesh, and sautéed apples for a bit of sweetness. Garnish each bowl with a drizzle of pure maple syrup, pomegranate seeds, and pepitas.

19. Broccoli and Feta Pesto

You've probably seen plenty of pesto recipes that incorporate kale, spinach, or other greens, but how about broccoli? This creamy sauce complete with salty feta has become a go-to for pasta night.

20. Avocado Cacao Mousse

You might be skeptical that a mousse made with avocado as the base could be a dessert, but give this raw recipe a try. We promise you won't be disappointed with the silky-smooth texture.

21. Spring Turnip Soup with Garlic Chickpea Croutons

Leeks, turnips, and garlicky chickpeas are all at their best in this early spring soup. It's a savory bite to enjoy that doesn't rely on winter flavors to create a cozy dish.

(Image credits: Emma Christensen; Emily Han; Quentin Bacon; Sara Kate Gillingham; Gina Eykemans; Kelli Foster; Melissa Ryan; Faith Durand; Anjali Prasertong; Sarah E Crowder; Dana Velden; Leela Cyd; Andrea Bemis)