This Mini Food Processor Makes Meal Prep a Breeze in My Tiny Apartment Kitchen

published Nov 18, 2022
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Left to right: chopped bacon in sauce pan;  diced onion, celery and garlic in glass bowl; diced potatoes in glass bowl.
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s a cluttered countertop. Since a big part of my job is testing kitchen gear and cookware products, I have far too many bulky appliances sitting on my dearth of counter space as it is, so the idea of buying another big gadget is far from attractive. However, we’re at the point of the year when football season, dinner party season, and the holidays collide, and for easy and delicious dips, salsas, and spreads, there’s no better small appliance to have in your arsenal than a food processor. 

Unfortunately, most food processors have a large footprint — not something I need in my already cramped apartment kitchen. And, while I love using my immersion blender and Nutribullet for certain applications, there’s something about the way a food processor chops and slices ingredients that you can’t quite emulate without the real deal. That’s why I was so excited when I found the perfect solution to my problems: Cuisinart’s 3-Cup Mini-Prep Plus Food Processor

So, obviously this little guy isn’t the same as having a massive, high-powered, restaurant-grade food processor — but at the end of the day, how often are you realistically going to use one of those? No, this small but mighty processor is all I need, especially since I’m not often cooking for more than a handful of people. The easy-to-use (and seriously affordable) Mini-Prep Plus makes what would ordinarily be time-consuming prep tasks a breeze, from pulverizing herbs to grinding nuts and whole spices. And, you can switch between the chop and grind settings without having to change the blade.

Credit: Ian Burke

I’ve gotta say, the stainless-steel blades are still razor-sharp — even after more than a year of using this workhorse. I use the chop mode to smooth out chunks of carrot, celery, and onion for sauce bases and sofritos that are super-easy to work with, and the grind function is perfect for hummus, dips, and salsas. I’ve even used it to emulsify mayo and salad dressings! My favorite part about the whole appliance, though, is its tiny footprint. It takes up about as much space as a toaster, and tucks away neatly in my cabinet when not in use — in other words, it doesn’t have to live on my countertop 24/7 like a larger-format food processor would.

I’m not the only one head over heels for it either. With over 500 five-star ratings on Williams Sonoma’s site, it’s clear that this is a fan favorite. “Does exactly what I need,” one reviewer writes. It’s also built to last — as one reviewer explains, “I bought my first mini processor about 16 years ago and after all this time it finally stopped working. I loved it so much I bought another one and I’m sure I’ll have it just as long. I use it almost everyday.”

And, if you’re stumped on what to get the home chef in your life this holiday season, this would make an easy, thoughtful gift — especially if you’re shopping for someone with limited space or someone who just moved into their first apartment and is dying to throw a dinner party. Plus, at less than 40 bucks, the price is right!