Do I need a food processor if I have a Vitamix blender?

If you already own a high-powered blender like a Vitamix, you may be wondering if you also need a food processor. Both appliances can chop, puree, and blend, but they actually work quite differently and each have their own strengths and limitations. Determining if you need both comes down to understanding what tasks each excels at.

Blending vs. Processing

While blenders and food processors may seem interchangeable, especially when you look at what they can make, they actually work very differently:

  • Blenders use fast-spinning blades to finely chop and liquefy ingredients.
  • Food processors use multi-tasking discs and blades that can chop, grate, shred, or purée foods.

Blenders are optimized for blending liquids and making smooth purées and sauces. Their high-powered blades can pulverize tough fruits and veggies into drinkable smoothies or perfectly smooth soups.

Food processors are more versatile kitchen workhorses. With their assortment of swappable blades and discs, they can chop vegetables, shred cheese, crumble bread crumbs, whisk batters, and more.

What a high-powered blender like a Vitamix can do

High-performance blenders like Vitamix dominate when it comes to blending liquids or breaking down tough, dense ingredients into smooth purées. Here are some of the tasks a Vitamix excels at:

  • Smoothies: A Vitamix blender can quickly pulverize fruits, veggies, ice, and frozen ingredients into creamy, smooth smoothies.
  • Nut butters: With its powerful motor and blades, a Vitamix makes homemade nut butter a breeze.
  • Soups and purées: Hot soups can be blended perfectly smooth and creamy right in the Vitamix.
  • Sauces and dressings: Vinaigrettes, salsas, hummus, and more are easily blended up.
  • Nut milks: It’s easy to make rich homemade almond milk, oat milk, or other nut milks in a blender.
  • Frozen treats: The Vitamix can churn out ice cream, sorbet, or frozen yogurt in minutes.
  • Powders: Use the blender to grind flaxseeds into powder or make your own almond flour.
  • Batters: The Vitamix can whisk up pancake batter or batter for muffins in seconds.

With its specialized blades and powerful motor, a quality high-speed blender excels at transforming dense, tough ingredients into flawlessly smooth purées and liquids.

What a food processor can do that a blender can’t

While a blender beats a food processor when it comes to liquids, a food processor is much more versatile for prep work. Here are some tasks that a food processor can handle that a Vitamix blender simply can’t:

  • Chopping/mincing: Food processors chop vegetables, herbs, nuts, meat and more with precision blades.
  • Grating and shredding: Swap blades for grater/shredder discs to grate cheese or shred veggies.
  • Julienne: With a julienne disc, you can make perfect julienned carrots or zucchini.
  • Kneading dough: The food processor can knead dough for pizza and bread.
  • Crumbly mixtures: It can combine butter and flour for pie dough without overmixing.
  • Slicing and dicing: Uniform slices and dices are easy with a food processor.
  • Mixing: It can quickly mix large batches of ingredients like coleslaw or salsa.

In addition to different blades and discs, food processors have a wide, shallow work bowl design that gives room for chopping and mixing. Food processors also frequently have multiple bowl sizes for handling small or large jobs.

Common uses for each appliance

Looking at typical uses for a blender and a food processor shows how they complement each other:

Vitamix Blender Food Processor
Smoothies Chopped veggies
Nut butters Shredded cheese
Milkshakes Pie dough
Soups Sliced/diced fruits and veggies
Sauces Bread crumbs
Dressings and vinaigrettes Coleslaw
Cocktails Kneaded pizza dough
Nut milks Ground meat
Purees Salsa
Frozen desserts Hummus

Reasons you may want both appliances

While there is definitely some overlap between a high-speed blender and a food processor, each has strengths that make them uniquely useful. Here are some reasons you might want to have both in your kitchen arsenal:

  • You regularly make large batches of soups, smoothies, or sauces. The Vitamix makes quick work of large amounts of liquid ingredients.
  • You bake a lot. Food processors are great for pie dough, bread crumbs, scones, and more.
  • You want to increase your homemade cooking. Blenders and processors allow you to make staples like nut butter, hummus, pizza dough, salsa from scratch.
  • You prep a lot of produce. The slicing/dicing discs provide uniform, quick veggie prep.
  • You shred cheese frequently. Food processors have handy shredding and grating discs.
  • You make baby food. Both appliances can purée veggies and fruits into healthy homemade baby foods.
  • You have a large family. Appliances with larger capacities allow you to double or triple recipes.

Tips for deciding if you need both

If you’re trying to decide whether to invest in both a high-performance blender and a food processor, here are a few tips:

  • Take stock of how you currently use your blender. Do you find yourself wishing you could neatly chop veggies or shred cheese?
  • Consider the types of recipes you make most often. Do they include a lot of chopping and prepping?
  • Think about recipes you’d like to try in the future. Would a food processor allow you to make them more easily?
  • Look at the capacities. If you batch cook, larger volumes may be beneficial.
  • Read reviews of popular models to see pros and cons of different features.
  • Look for blade options. Can you get grating/shredding discs and blender jars?
  • Consider your budget. Good food processors can run $100-$200+.


If you’re ready to add a food processor to your kitchen lineup, here are some top-rated models to consider in 2023:

Food Processor Key Features
Cuisinart Custom 14 Cup 14 cup capacity, multiple shredding/slicing discs, 720 watt motor
Breville Sous Chef 16 cup capacity, adjustable slicing disc, 1200 watt motor
Ninja Professional Plus 72 oz. pitcher, dough blade, chopping/shredding blades
Braun Multiquick 7 2 cup chopper, citrus press, 900 watt motor, 7 cup bowl
KitchenAid 7 Cup Exactslice system, external lever control, stainless steel body

The bottom line

At the end of the day, a high-powered blender and a food processor are very useful for different kitchen tasks. While a blender dominates when it comes to smoothies, soups, nut milks and other liquids, a food processor offers more versatility for prep work like chopping, shredding, mixing, and dough making. For home cooks that make a variety of recipes, many find having both appliances handy. Start by looking at what you make most often and the features that would be beneficial, and go from there in determining if you’d benefit from adding a food processor in addition to your Vitamix blender.

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