You can do more than make a delicious smoothie with a good blender. Nowadays, they can mix, puree and even emulsify all types of foods, says Lauren Harris-Pincus, RDN, author of The Everything Easy Pre-Diabetes Cookbook.
While food processors might be your go-to for a host of meal prep duties, blenders are key for pulverizing and evenly combining wet and dry ingredients, Harris-Pincus says.
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Many newer and professional-grade models can perform functions that were once reserved for the food processor or several minutes of knife work. Soups, sauces and dips are totally in the cards.
"My favorite sweet concoctions to prepare in a blender are smoothies, frozen cocktails and 'nice' cream made from frozen bananas," Harris-Pincus says. (Don't miss our 64-calorie-per-scoop Cocoa-Mint Soft-Serve Nice Cream.) "I also love to make savory dips and soups in minutes."
These best blenders — chosen based on a dietitian's recommendations and stellar Amazon reviews — will help you puree like a pro, delivering thick and creamy recipes in a matter of seconds.
There's sure to be a blender option you'll want to add to your kitchen tool collection for the ultimate recipe success.
- Best Value: Ninja Professional Plus Blender ($149.95, Ninja)
- Best for Big Families: KitchenAid K150 Blender ($149.95, Amazon)
- Best For Smoothies: Nutribullet Pro Personal Blender ($119.95, Nutribullet)
- Best Immersion: Mueller Austria Ultra-Stick Hand Blender ($34.97, Amazon)
- Best Self-Cleaning: Vitamix 5200 Professional Blender ($629.95, Vitamix)
- Best for Soup: Vitamix A2300 Ascent Series Smart Blender ($499.95, Amazon)
- Best High-Speed: Vitamix Professional Series 750 Blender ($524.95, Amazon)
- Best Cordless: Cuisinart EvolutionX Portable Rechargeable Compact Blender ($79.95, Amazon)
- Best System: Ninja Mega Kitchen System ($159.99, Amazon)
- Best Luxury Blender: Blendtec Total Blender Classic ($399.95, Blendtec)
Things to Consider Before Buying a Blender
With so many options, models, and features to choose from, you can uncomplicate your search for the best blender by considering these factors before you buy.
If you plan on using your appliance every day, one important thing to look for in a blender is convenience, says Rachel Fine, RDN. "I often recommend smoothies as convenient options for on-the-go. But, if your blender is leaving you with splatter, then it's not so convenient!"
You want a blender that fits into your everyday life rather seamlessly. "Look at how easy it is to use the blender's controls clean its base and remove and replace the blade for deeper cleaning," Fine says.
2. Your Need for Certain Features
Equally important is to consider features in a blender that are important to you and your family.
If you make a lot of soup, you should choose a blender that has a soup-blending and heating function. For making smoothies, you might prefer a blender with cup attachments. If you're short on space, go for a personal or portable blender.
3. The Material
You'll also want to consider the materials of the blender. "When looking at the material of the blender, I typically recommend going for the glass or stainless-steel option," says Allison Tallman, RDN.
"While these are both more expensive than the plastic alternative, they last a lot longer and do not discolor or hold on to smells as easily."
4. The Size
Finally, the size of the blender is always something to think about, as blender sizes can range from mini (which holds about 10 ounces) to large (80 ounces).
"You'll want to consider what you will typically be using the blender for. If you're not sure, I recommend a medium to large blender, so you have plenty of room to work with,"
How We Chose
We talked to six registered dietitians who shared their experience with blenders, as well as how to choose one. The picks on our list have been chosen based on the following criteria.
- Ease to clean
- Special features
1. Best Value: Ninja Professional Plus Blender
Blend 8 cups of food or drink in the dishwasher-safe pitcher of this blender, one of Ninja's strongest models. This blender is a deal, effectively crushing ice and blending fruit just as well as its more costly competitors.
Three Auto-iQ programs do all the work for you to create creamy smoothies, slushy frozen mixed drinks and ice cream.
2. Best for Big Families: KitchenAid K150 Blender
With two 16-ounce single-serving blender jars and a 6-cup pitcher, this blender can tackle small and large jobs alike. It's strong enough to crush a half-tray of ice in 10 seconds and comes with three preset speeds that you can cycle through for the just-right blend.
No matter which speed you choose, the blender starts off with a gentle feature that invites ingredients into the vortex slowly so they don't splatter or jam up. The Intelli-Speed Motor Control will sense when to move faster or slower for mixing perfection.
KitchenAid ($99.99); Amazon ($149.99)
3. Best for Smoothies: Nutribullet Pro Personal Blender
As the proud owner of the Nutribullet Pro Personal Blender (the 900-watt version), I can say that this kitchen tool is a must-have if you often make protein smoothies or shakes. The 24-ounce cup size is perfect for personal portions and lighter cleanup.
Not only that, but it's so easy to use: The cup lifts right out of the base and the blade is on the lid that screws off so you can put your liquid and other ingredients in. Then, just screw the lid back on, place the cup into the base, twist and press down, and you have a protein shake ready in less than a minute!
I love the sleek look of this personal blender, so much that I actually leave it out on my countertop. It doesn't take up much room, and I enjoy not having to pull it out of a cabinet every day. Saves me all of 30 extra seconds, but hey, time is precious.
Others seem to have had similar experiences with the Nutribullet Pro Personal Blender, according to Amazon reviews. It has high marks for blending power and being easy to use and clean.
Nutribullet ($119.99); Amazon ($78.13)
4. Best Immersion: Mueller Austria Ultra-Stick Hand Blender
With the Mueller Austria Ultra-Stick Hand Blender, you can puree soups in the same pot you cooked them in. Affordable and easy to store, reviewers love this one in particular because it has a non-slip, comfortable grip and a motor that won't overheat — even when pureeing potatoes.
Besides soups, this stick blender comes in handy for milkshakes, baby food, smoothies, and frothy coffee drinks.
5. Best Self-Cleaning: Vitamix 5200 Professional Blender
Like all Vitamix blenders, this 8-cup appliance masters durability and power. But this one scores some serious extra points: It has a cooling fan to keep the motor from getting too hot, as well as the ability to create steaming hot soup by the friction produced from blending at such high speeds.
And yet, it's the self-cleaning feature that truly takes the cake: Add a drizzle of dish soap and some warm water and this blender cleans itself in less than a minute.
6. Best for Soup: Vitamix A2300 Ascent Series Smart Blender
With an 8-cup capacity, this family-sized blender can tackle big blending jobs. Chalk up the steep price tag to the blender's smart tech features: Not only does it have wireless connectivity and an app that can guide you through more than 500 recipes, but it also comes with variable speed control that senses when to increase the speed or pulse to blend just right.
No need to keep a super-close eye on your blender recipe, either — the machine knows when your smoothie's ready and will automatically turn off so your mixture doesn't overprocess.
The best part is, you can use this wonderful device to blend and heat soups without having to heat up the stove.
7. Best High-Speed: Vitamix Professional Series 750 Blender
Thanks to a smart, high-performance motor and stainless-steel blades, this Vitamix blender will certainly come in handy next time you meal prep for the week, as it can handle making batches of soup, smoothies, batter and baby food in no time at all.
"Vitamix can handle frozen fruits and raw vegetables with ease," says Kristi Ruth, RD. "I've blended up all kinds of frozen fruit, celery, beets and carrots with no problem. The Professional Series comes with a 64-ounce container which holds the most; it also requires a minimum volume of 12 ounces to cover the blades."
8. Best Cordless: Cuisinart EvolutionX Portable Rechargeable Compact Blender
If you're on-the-go often, reaching for a cordless portable blender may be ideal for fitting your lifestyle. "This portable blender is great for when you are traveling and still want the ability to make a healthy (and more affordable than take-out) meal option," says Meghan Pendleton, RD.
"But, as with any portable blender, I would suggest avoiding hard ingredients such as carrots, as they are less powerful than corded blenders and may not thoroughly blend."
Amazon ($79.95); Home Depot ($79.95)
9. Best System: Ninja Mega Kitchen Blender System
If you're a foodie who likes to try different recipes and may need your blender to perform a variety of functions, go for this blender system from Ninja.
"This kitchen system blends any smoothie recipe I can think of, and comes with different size options," says Chris Henigan, RD. "The blender pitcher allows you to make one batch for the week, or a batch for the family or you can make personal smoothies in the 16-ounce to-go cups if you want less or variety.
The "system" comes with two to-go cups that I can fill the night before and pop on the blender in the morning, making my healthy breakfast a breeze. The bonus is that it comes with a food processor as well."
10. Best Luxury Blender: Blendtec Total Blender Classic
The Blendtec Classic Total Blender is a favorite of many reviewers on Amazon, as well as one expert we spoke to. "This blender creates a wonderful consistency and will blend literally anything," says Angela Lago, RDN, LDN.
It's true: reviewers agree this blender makes sauces, smoothies, soups, and so much more. Plus, it's lightweight and easy to clean and operate, with a digital display and button-control technology.
"It allows users to prevent waste of items such as kale stems, and is able to blend raw food items such as raw beets to a smooth consistency. This is also a great blender for homemade soups, such as butternut squash soup — a personal favorite — and heats the ingredients for you when you use the soup function."