I can't imagine my kitchen without the Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus Food Processor

It's a petite powerhouse that every compact kitchen needs

Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus Food Processor on the countertop with chopped herbs in front of it
(Image credit: Cuisinart)
Homes & Gardens Verdict

The Cuisinart is perfect for small spaces. It's powerful and capable of making super smooth dips and spreads. It's basic but brilliant. The only people I wouldn't recommend it to are those with large homes.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Compact footprint

  • +

    Simple to use

  • +

    Looks sleek and smart

  • +

    Dishwasher safe

  • +

    Comes with a useful spatula

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Doesn't come with any extra accessories

  • -

    Have to continuously hold down button

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Sometimes, you don't need a full-sized food processor with an excessive amount of accessories and attachments. If all you need is a simple appliance that can make quick dips and smooth nut butters in small quantities, look no further than the Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus Food Processor.

In the last year and a half of food processor testing, I've seen some of the best food processors on the market. Whilst they certainly have a place in big homes that need lots of capacity, I'm a big proponent of the 'less is more' principle.

I tested the tiny Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus Food Processor on chopping onions, making hummus, and blending peanut butter. It's more powerful than an immersion blender and just as capable as a full-sized food processor, just shrunk down by two-thirds. I love it.


Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus Food Processor

(Image credit: Cuisinart)

Who would it suit?

Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus Food Processor with the Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus Food Processor box in the background

(Image credit: Future)

Mini appliances such as this are perfect for compact kitchens. If you're a single-person household or just a couple who doesn't need to make thirteen cups worth of hummus every time you blend some chickpeas, this is perfect.

The Cuisinart is small and boxy, so it would be easy to slot into a cupboard with other appliances stacked around it. Equally, this is petite enough for you to keep it on your countertop full-time. It wouldn't demand a lot of space and certainly wouldn't be an eyesore, which will be a weight off the shoulders if you're living in an urban apartment, like me.

The only people I wouldn't recommend this for are those who need a lot of capacity or those who want lots of food processor accessories. This comes with an S blade only, so it won't be grating or slicing, unless you invest in them separately.


Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus Food Processor unboxed on the counter

(Image credit: Future)

I love unboxing small appliances like this because it's all so easy. The compact box has lots of useful suggestions for how to use your food processor. Then, most of the packaging is recyclable, save for a few soft plastic bags, which you could still recycle if you were smart about it.

Whilst Cuisinart doesn't send any slicing or dicing discs, you do get a super sharp, double-sided S blade, which covers all the food processing basics. They also throw in a small scraper, so you can scoop any extras from the edges of your bowl. I thought that was a nice touch.

What is it like to use?

Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus Food Processor on the countertop

(Image credit: Future)

The Cuisinart is as simple as it looks. The bowl has to click into place in a very specific position, but that's the case with lots of food processors. It also doesn't take long for your muscle memory to just know where to put the bowl.

The control buttons are 'chop' and 'grind'. The grind setting uses the blades in reverse so that you get the blunt side of the blade gently crushing herbs and spices. It's a clever extra. As is the lid, which has two holes and a well. If you're making dressings, mayonnaise, or anything that requires you to add a little liquid to your mix, this is a really thoughtful feature.

You need to constantly hold the buttons down for the food processor to work, which does mean you have to hang around whilst it's running. However, it also means that yours will never over-blend and you'll also get complete control over how your dips and nut butters end up.

Test 1: chopping

Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus Food Processor bowl with onion in

(Image credit: Future)

The first task I gave the Cuisinart was chopping an onion. I peeled and quartered a large red onion, put it in the work bowl and held down 'chop'. In just 18 seconds, I had achieved what you can see in the picture above. 

I wanted this for a chunky salsa, so I didn't go too fine with any of the ingredients. This was the perfect texture and almost all of the pieces were consistent in shape too. You can see one part of the onion escaped chopping, but I think that's probably because the blender was overfilled. It's a great start nonetheless.

Test 2: dips

Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus Food Processor hummus

(Image credit: Future)

The next test I run for all of our food processors (and blenders) is on hummus. You don't get a lot of liquid with the chickpeas, so it can be hard to achieve a really silky smooth dip. 

I was surprised at just how much hummus I made in the Cuisinart. I tipped a can of chickpeas, a tablespoon of tahini, a squeeze of lemon, a teaspoon of cumin, and a pinch of salt into the work bowl. I switched between chopping and grinding, because I wasn't sure quite what a hummus would require. It did the trick though. My hummus was chunky and still had some texture, but all the ingredients were well incorporated and blended into a delicious dip.

Test 3: nut butters

Peanut butter made in the Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus Food Processor

(Image credit: Future)

If you buy nut butters from the store, you can stop. Even though the Cuisinart is tiny, it took just two minutes to make a smooth peanut butter that would rival anything you can buy in the shops.

I bought a bag of roasted, salted peanuts and poured them into the work bowl. Then, I held down the grind button in 30 second intervals, leaving the food processor to cool for fifteen seconds between sprints. I didn't think the Cuisinart needed this, but people say that food processors can overheat, so it's good practice to run yours in stages, especially if you want yours to last for a long time.

I watched my peanuts get chopped (they'd make a nice topping for a salad), then ground (useful for baking), and then, they gradually came together in a ball, which got looser and looser, until it looked like the perfect nut butter. Although it looks grainy in the pictures, I didn't think it tasted grainy at all. I loved it and used that tiny Cuisinart spatula to scoop out every last spoonful.

Cleaning, storage, and maintenance

Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus Food Processor having been washed

(Image credit: Future)

All of the Cuisinart parts are dishwasher safe. So, if it sounds like I loved testing this (I did) you can bet that I loved the clean up even more. We have one of those small, dishwasher drawers at home, so I was quite apprehensive about being able to get it into the drawer alongside my daily dishes. However, it squeezed in without a problem. 

If you want to, you can clean the Cuisinart by hand too. I have lots of tips and tricks for how to clean a food processor, but if you want the summary: put some warm water in with a few drops of dish soap and pulse the food processor. It will effectively clean itself, just make sure you rinse it before you dry yours up.

Storage wise, this is small enough to keep on the countertop. However, if you want to put it in the cupboards or a deep drawer, you easily could. Any home could make space for one of these.

How does it rate online?

Peanuts in the bowl of the Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus Food Processor

(Image credit: Future)

The Cuisinart is quite a success online. People love how conveniently petite it is, as well as the fact that everything is dishwasher safe. I tested this in the chrome, but plenty of other reviewers enjoyed the red, pink, and white colorways, which they said looked stylish on the countertop.

It was hard to find criticisms of the Cuisinart, aside from the fact that you have to constantly depress the button for it to run. Some people thought that the motor was loud, but it's rare that food processors are silent and you won't need to run this for a long time anyway.

How does it compare?

Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus Food Processor box

(Image credit: Future)

I've tested my fair share of food processors and I can tell you that the Cuisinart is one of the best compact models on the market. However, before you fall head-over-heels in love, there's a couple worth considering too.

The first is the Magic Bullet Kitchen Express System. Although this is more expensive than the Cuisinart, the Magic Bullet comes with slicing discs, grating discs, and bullet blending attachments, so the Magic Bullet can do a lot more. You get less control over pulsing and how long it works for (once you've clicked it into place, the Magic Bullet just runs. It also feels cheaper than the Cuisinart, even though you pay more for it. I've brought it in as a comparison, because it's much more versatile than the Cuisinart and, when you're trying to save space in your kitchen, having an appliance that is powerful and compact is a real game-changer.

The other appliance that springs to mind is the KitchenAid food chopper (available at QVC). This is smaller than the Cuisinart and comes with the same, simple blade attachments (not like the Magic Bullet's). The big bonus with the KitchenAid is that it's cordless, so you can chop, blend, and grind from anywhere. Say you want to work at the kitchen table where there are no plugs, you can. Maybe you want to make salsa by the grill in yard, you can. Even if you just can't be bothered to plug in, the KitchenAid is incredibly useful. If that's not tempting, it's available in a range of color options too, so you can pick one that will add some pop to your kitchen countertops. Of course, if you won't remember to charge the battery, or you don't like the idea of paying a premium for, let's face it, a bit of a luxury, the Cuisinart is better.

Should you buy it?

Cuisinart Mini Prep Pro Food Processor on the countertop with onion beside it

(Image credit: Future)

If you want a small, hard working food processor in your kitchen and you don't have big and bold demands to make on it, the Cuisinart is perfect. It's excellent value for money, well-built, and perfect for small spaces. I love it.

Laura Honey
eCommerce Editor

Laura is our eCommerce editor. As a fully qualified barista, she's our expert in all things coffee and has tested over thirty of the best coffee makers on the market. She has also interviewed Q-Graders and world-leading experts in the coffee industry, so has an intimate knowledge of all things coffee. Before joining Homes & Gardens, she studied English at Oxford University. Whilst studying, she trained as a master perfumer and worked in the luxury fragrance industry for five years. Her collection of home fragrance is extensive and she's met and interviewed five of the world's finest perfumers (also known as 'noses'). As a result of this expansive fragrance knowledge, she always puts quality and style over quantity and fads. Laura looks for products which have been designed simply and with thoughtful finishes.