January 12

How to Puree Without a Food Processor | Our Guide to Alternative Ways


Author: Ana Stanar
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Pureeing is a great way to blend and mix ingredients while also making them into a smooth texture. It’s a great technique for creating sauces, soups, and spreads.

We all know that there are some things that we need a food processor for, but what if you don't have one? Don't panic; this article has various methods of how to puree without a pureeing food processor.

Using a Mortar and Pestle

Pureeing is one of the best ways of making soups, tomato sauce, dips, spreads, beaters for frostings and custards, desserts, baby food, homemade whipped cream, and stews thicker and creamier. And it's a lot easier to do than you might think.

If you have a mortar and pestle handy, that's even better. It will create a coarser texture that some people prefer in their sauces. Just make sure that your pestle is made of wood.

Mortar and Pestle

Chop Up First

The best way to get food smooth is to chop it up first. If you're trying to make a sauce, chop up all of the ingredients as finely as possible before mixing them together.

Tear open a few cloves of garlic, drop them in a mortar, and pound them into a paste. Add spices, some olive oil, lemon juice, and salt; puree again. That's how you make an herby garlic sauce to serve with fish or grilled vegetables.

Use a Hand Held Immersion Blender to Puree Food

Pureeing food with a blender is a great way to make it smoother, creamier, or chunkier. When you puree something, you're breaking it down and turning it into a liquid. The texture is so smooth that you will love the pureed food.

How to Puree Food with an Immersion Blender

To Puree food in an immersion blender, first, chop the vegetables into small pieces. Then add the vegetables and pulse until desired consistency is reached.

This process will break up some of the tougher fibers, so you won't need to puree for long. Just make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions before using one.

Immersion Blender

Food Mill and Fine Mesh Sieve

The food mill is a great alternative to food processors (see 'Food Mill Vs. Food Processor'), or electric-powered appliances. It's also great for recipes that call for sieved or processed foods and is much easier to clean than a food processor, and it's very affordable.

  1. Wash your food mill and rinse in hot water.
  2. Prepare your ingredients. To prepare them, use a knife and cutting board to cut the ingredients into small chunks before pureeing them, or you can precook them first and then drain off any excess water when they are finished cooking.
  • For example, whole tomatoes can be boiled for 2 minutes to soften them up before pureeing them in a food mill
  • Carrots should be boiled for 1 minute before pureeing in the food mill
  • Potatoes should be boiled for about 10-15 minutes or until soft

Place your ingredients into the pureeing chamber. Process until desired consistency is reached. This method requires more muscle power and time but is worth it.

Tip: If your recipe calls for a fine puree or mousse, pass the puree through a fine-mesh sieve after it has been run through the food mill. This will remove any remaining large particles from the puree.
Food puree with a pumpking slice

Using a Chef’s Knife

A chef's knife is a tool that can be used for several different cutting techniques, including slicing and dicing. Due to its versatility, it is often one of the most used tools in a kitchen because it can be used for all sorts of different things.

Treat your chef's knife with care, as it will take some time before you can get used to handling it.

To Puree Your Food Using a Chef's Knife, Follow These Steps

Before you begin to puree any vegetable, it's always a good idea to wash them thoroughly, as dirt and sand can make their way into the dish and detract from the flavor. Some vegetables, such as carrots and beets, require peeling.

Secondly, shred the vegetables into small pieces using a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, apply pressure as you slice through each piece of vegetable. Note that this method will take more time than using a food processor or blender.

Or try using an electric coffee grinder for small amounts of nuts or dried fruit — it will break down the ingredients into tiny bits that are perfect for sauces and soups. Just be sure to clean out the coffee grinder thoroughly before using it for coffee again.

Chef's Knife

A Potato Masher

A potato masher is a great alternative to a food processor. It is lightweight and easier to clean.

When I am in the kitchen and do not want to drag out my food processor, I use my potato masher. The best part about using a potato masher is that you can use it for more than just pureeing your food. You can use it to make mashed potatoes, to crush garlic and ice cubes, just to name a few.

How to Use a Potato Masher

  1. First, you will need a clean masher with no dents or cracks. If it is not smooth, then you will end up with little chunks on your food or in your puree.
  2. Start by peeling all of the skin away from your potatoes, leaving only the white fleshy insides. You can also use other vegetables such as carrots etc.
  3. Boil the potatoes until soft, then use the potato masher to mash them until it has a finer texture. You can add some spices, butter, etc., depending on what you are making.
Potato Masher

Foods That Can Be Accomplished with Pureeing


One of the most common uses of the pureeing technique is creating soups. Because the process breaks down large pieces of food into tiny bits, it's ideal for making thick and creamy soups.

There are many different foods that you can puree to make soups. Some of these foods include tomatoes, carrots, squash, and potatoes. The possibilities are endless when it comes to making soups.


Another common use of pureeing is creating dips for chips or crackers. While you can create a dip with chopped ingredients as well, pureeing allows you to use less liquid, so the dip will be thicker and creamier. It also helps to retain flavor that would normally be lost.

Dip for chips

Making Tomato Sauce

Puree tomatoes, onions, garlic, and herbs together, along with some water and oil, make a thick and flavorful sauce of tomato.

Making Salsa

 Salsa is made from fresh tomatoes, peppers, onions, and cilantro, which are pureed together.

Can You Puree by Hand?

You can most certainly puree food by hand if you have the time and energy to devote to the task. It's not that difficult once you have the right tools. You'll need a sharp knife, a hand mixer, blender, a cheese grater, mortar, paste, or an old-fashioned potato masher to make purees without a blender or a food processor.

How Do You Mix If You Don't Have a Food Processor?

Mixing ingredients by hand can be a time-consuming and difficult job; however, there are tools to lessen the job, such as a stand mixer for kneading dough or even a mortar and pestle. 

The other mixing tool you can use is a whisk. Whisking vigorously will help incorporate ingredients well and is often used in baking. This hand mixer can be used for other recipes such as soufflés, meringues, and buttercream. You may also use an electric mixer to quickly mix your food ingredients.

Using a Spatula

If you don't have kitchen appliances such as a food processor or electric mixer, try putting your ingredients in a large bowl. Then, use a spatula or a wooden spoon to mix them until you get a consistent texture throughout.

Spatula in a bowl

Can I Puree with A Hand Blender?

Yes, it is possible to puree with a hand blender. You can even use it to blend things that are too tough for most blenders. A hand blender is perfect for pureeing smaller to medium quantities of food in bowls and cups.

Can I Use a Blender Instead of a Food Processor?

Yes, you can use a blender instead of a food processor for pureeing food. A blender is best suited for making thick and creamy soups right in the container you'll serve them in.

They're also great for making smoothies with ease. It can also chop ice cubes, so they blend perfectly into your favorite frozen drink or slushie recipe.

How to Purée Fruits, Vegetables, & Other Foods Without a Blender or Food Processors

It seems that the only way to perfectly purée fruits, vegetables, and other foods is to have a high-powered blender or food processor. But this isn't true at all. You can purée different foods with just simple tools that I have mentioned in this guide, such as a potato masher and a bowl, a food mill, etc.

With a little creativity with these tools, you can make delicious pureed soups and sauces that rival those of restaurants.

About the author

Ana Stanar

An Art Teacher, entrepreneur, and a mother of three, Ana considers cooking a form of art - pleasure for all senses as well as a process that requires creativity, passion and devotion. Since she leads a busy life, Ana just loves testing various kitchen appliances for Kitchen Gearoid, especially those that save her time while preparing food and cooking but also make every meal a masterpiece!


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