5 Surprising Uses for Your Food Processor

5 surprising usesWhether you already have a food processor or are going to treat yourself to one, you probably know that it's a wizard in the kitchen because it can slice, chop, shred, mince, and puree. But it can do a whole lot more. We just finished testing 17 full-sized models and some of the results surprised even us. Here are five ways your food processor can be a bigger help in the kitchen.

1. Grating Parmesan Cheese Sure we love the Microplane fine zester/grater for a quick shower of Parm to top a bowl of pasta but when the lasagna recipe calls for a ½ cup or maybe more, hand grating can be tedious...trust us, we know. If you cut your wedge of cheese into chunks about 1-inch in size, and whiz them in the processor fitted with the blade, NOT the grating attachment, you'll be amazed at the results!

Related: Best Food Processors

2. Kneading Dough No more excuses left for not making your own pizza crust or pie dough! Yes, you still have to measure out the ingredients, but the processor combines them quickly and expertly!

3. Mincing Parsley While generally there's a limit to how much you can process, when it comes to curly parsley leaves, you can pack them in to the top of the bowl. Try this the next time you make tabbouleh salad, a staple in my family at summer buffets.

Related: 10 Weight Loss Myths You Shouldn't Believe

4. Whipping-up Dressings and Dips Since their beginnings, food processors have been hailed for their ability to make mayonnaise. In the cap of the feed tube, there's a little tiny hole. If you add the oil through the hole, it flows into the eggs at just the right pace to be absorbed and turn into mayo. But let's be honest, who among us makes their own these days? But, this technique works like a charm when you're making a mustardy or creamy salad dressing like Caesar, pesto, or an oil-based dip.

5. Mixing Cookies Simple cookie recipes that aren't weighed down with a ton of butter and flour, can be whizzed in the processor. In fact, our Chocolate-Hazelnut Macaroons calls for first grinding the nuts and chocolate and then mixing them in the processor bowl, reducing the number of steps and pieces of equipment you have to wash up.

-By Sharon Franke

More from Good Housekeeping: