These tools can help you have the tastiest summer salads with minimal effort
There are plenty of things to love about summer, but all of the delicious produce that’s in season in warmer weather has to top the list. With fruits and veggies like tomatoes, corn, strawberries and bell peppers widely available, you can make plenty of amazing summer salads.
But having to chop, dice and julienne all the ingredients for your salad can be a serious chore. If you have the right appliances in your kitchen, though, you can cut and prepare your fruits, vegetables and greens in no time, so you can enjoy your salad as soon as possible.
Here are the best hand blenders, food processors and choppers for making fresh, tasty summer salads, no matter how lacking your knife skills may be.
How to make the best summer salad
While you can make a summer salad with classic iceberg lettuce, you’ll get the best flavor and texture if you mix greens. Try a mix of summer greens like spinach, radicchio, butter lettuce or endive to create the perfect base for your salad.
Use seasonal veggies
Plenty of delicious vegetables are in season in summer, so they’re the perfect addition to your salad. Chop up veggies like cucumbers, bell peppers, carrots, zucchini, beets and radishes, and mix them with your greens for added flavor.
Don’t forget the fruit
You might think of a salad as strictly a vehicle for greens and veggies, but you can add some brightness to your summer salad with the right fruit. Small fruits and berries like strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, cherries and grapes are an excellent addition, but you can also slice up oranges, peaches and nectarines.
Think about crunch
As with most recipes, it helps to have varying textures in your salad. Since many vegetables, greens and fruit are soft, you may want to add some crunchy ingredients. Nuts and seeds like walnuts, pistachios, sunflower seeds and chia seeds are all perfect toppings for a summer salad.
Add some protein
To make sure your salad is as filling as possible, include some protein in addition to summer produce. Grilled chicken, steak, shrimp or tofu can make it more hearty, but even adding some cheese helps increase the protein in your salad.
Make your own dressing
While you can find plenty of high-quality salad dressings at the store, you’ll get the best flavor if you make your own dressing. A simple vinaigrette made with vinegar, oil, herbs and seasonings is the perfect dressing for a summer salad, particularly if you mix in some lemon or lime juice to brighten the flavor.
Best hand blenders, food processors and choppers
Chef’n VeggiChop Hand-Powered Food Chopper
This manual food chopper is powerful enough to chop fruits and vegetables to get them small enough for salsa, so it can handle salad prep work. The compact design doesn’t take up much drawer or shelf space, and all the components are dishwasher-safe. Sold by Amazon
This lightweight chopper has blades with a wave pattern to precisely chop all your fruits and vegetables. The non-slip knob lets you chop quickly and safely, while the container has a snap-on lid to allow for food storage. Sold by Amazon
Hamilton Beach Immersion Hand Blender with Blending Wand, Whisk and 3-Cup Food Chopping Bowl
This hand blender comes with stainless steel blades and a chopping bowl to make quick work of your salad prep. The blender offers two speeds and also comes with a whisk attachment that’s ideal for whipping up homemade salad dressings. Sold by Amazon and Home Depot
Ninja Countertop Blender and Chopper
With a 400-watt motor, this countertop blender and chopper can mince, dice and chop to prepare all your salad ingredients. Its chopper bowl offers a 16-ounce capacity, and the non-slip base keeps the chopper from sliding around. Sold by Amazon
Black and Decker 8-Cup Food Processor
This mid-size food processor comes with a pusher tool to help direct food toward the slicing blades. It also offers safe operation because the blades won’t move if the lid isn’t firmly attached. The parts are dishwasher-safe, too. Sold by Amazon
Ninja Food Chopper Express Chop
This mini food processor can mince, chop, grind and even blend all the ingredients for a summer salad. The bowl holds 2 cups and has a non-slip base to keep it steady. The large power button also provides better control. Sold by Amazon
KitchenAid 3.5 Cup Food Chopper
This compact, lightweight mini food processor works well for everyday use because it doesn’t take up too much space on your counter. Its stainless steel blade chops foods with precision, and the two speeds and pulse feature let you achieve the perfect results. Sold by Amazon and Kohl’s
Hamilton Beach Stack and Snap Food Processor and Vegetable Chopper
With a powerful 450-watt motor and two speeds, this well-sized food processor can easily chop, slice, shred and mix. Its food chute has a wide mouth, so you don’t have to do much pre-chopping. The blades, bowl and lid are also dishwasher-safe. Sold by Amazon and Wayfair
KitchenAid 7-Cup Food Processor
This easy-to-clean food processor has a one-click, twist-free bowl assembly, so you can use it quickly and efficiently. It’s also easy to store due to its compact design and convenient cord wrap feature. The three speed options let you control how fine or coarse your ingredients are. Sold by Amazon and Kohl’s
Boasting a 550-watt motor and a 12-cup capacity jar, this food processor is large and powerful enough to make salads for a crowd. It has three speed options for versatility and stainless steel accessories to improve durability. The large feed tube also means you don’t have to pre-chop ingredients. Sold by Amazon and Home Depot
Braun 3-in-1 Immersion Hand Blender and 2-Cup Food Processor
This hand blender includes a 2-cup chopper that makes chopping, dicing and shredding ingredients for a summer salad much easier. It has a 500-watt motor, so it can handle even the hardest foods with ease. Sold by Amazon
Cuisinart 14-Cup Food Processor
With a stainless steel slicing disc, shredding disc and chopping blade, you can prepare all your salad ingredients in a hurry. Its 720-watt motor provides plenty of power, so it can chop even hard fruits and veggies. The 14-cup work bowl is large enough for a group. Sold by Amazon and Wayfair
Breville Sous Chef 12-Cup Food Processor
This versatile food processor has a BPA-free plastic work bowl that’s easy to clean and a powerful 1,000-watt induction motor. It also includes three feed chute size options and an adjustable slicing disc. The micro-serrated S-blade provides fast, consistent results. Sold by Amazon
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