The Best Vegetable Choppers for Faster Food Prep

Power through produce with KitchenAid’s 3.5-Cup Electric Food Chopper, our top choice.

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

KitchenAid 3.5-Cup Food Chopper
Photo: Amazon

Preparing your mise en place for cooking can be a tedious task, especially if you have a lot of vegetables, herbs, and other ingredients to attend to. While most culinary professionals tend to use their knife skills to accomplish most of the chopping and mincing in the kitchen, a food chopper can help home cooks.

"Vegetable choppers are great for speed for novices or for someone hoping to complete some meal prep for the week," says Olivia Roszkowski, chef-instructor of Health-Supportive Culinary Arts at the Institute of Culinary Education. What's more: "It's a safe and effective way for getting kids, teenagers, or those who might have hand coordination or grip issues involved in helping out in the kitchen."

When choosing a food chopper, there are a few factors to consider. "Typically, I look for an electric food chopper that isn't overly complicated with lots of different parts, and is easily stowed," says Daniel Ziebell, executive chef at AVOW Napa. Other key attributes we considered include capacity, ease of cleaning, and several settings included. We concluded that the KitchenAid 3.5-Cup Electric Food Chopper offers the best overall performance for fast and effortless prep. Whether you're cooking for a crowd or simply want to get through chopping as quickly as possible, you'll find a suitable model on this list. Read on for the best food choppers you can buy online.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: KitchenAid 3.5-Cup Electric Food Chopper

KitchenAid 3.5-Cup Electric Food Chopper
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Walmart and Home Depot.

Pros: It has excellent capacity, a powerful motor, and works a lot like a full-sized food processor minus the bulk.

Cons: It takes some practice to get used to the lid, and cleaning can be tricky.

If you like the functionality of a food processor but don't like a bulky appliance, this food chopper from KitchenAid is right up your alley. Equipped with two speeds and a pulse function, this small-but-mighty machine chops ingredients and even makes purees. Use it to prep cilantro and parsley for garnishes, chop onions for cooking, or to whip up salsa for a crowd. The drizzle basin allows you to slowly drip liquids into the bowl, like olive oil for making salad dressing or emulsifying aioli.

This model boasts a 3.5-cup capacity and is also available in a plethora of colors. Weighing in at just two pounds, it's lightweight and easier to bring out and put away than a full-sized food processor. The bowl, lid, and S-shaped stainless steel blade are dishwasher safe, though the one flaw we could find with this chopper is that small bits of food could potentially get stuck in the crevices of the lid and require extra attention to get clean. Other than that, it tops our list thanks to excellent performance, ease of use, and a reasonable price point.

  • Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 7 inches
  • Capacity: 3.5 cups
  • Settings: 2, plus a pulse function

Best Manual: Mueller 2-Speed Pull Chopper

Mueller 2-Speed Food Chopper
Courtesy of Amazon

Pros: The pull cord is simple to operate, and it features two speeds for coarse or finer cuts. It's also a great value.

Cons: A larger capacity bowl means it doesn't work well with very small quantities.

This manual chopper by Mueller offers quick and quiet chopping with the pull of a cord. Perfect for tearless prepping of onions or dicing fruit for a bowl of granola, it has a five-cup capacity work bowl that gives you enough room to process ingredients to feed your entire family. Its easy operation means you can also let your children help with meal prep (with supervision, of course) — they'll enjoy pulling the handle and watching the blades chop ingredients.

This model includes a BPA-free plastic work bowl, stainless steel blades, and a detachable lid. The lid features a dial to select your speed, depending on whether you want coarse or fine cuts. The blades make quick work of chopping hard and soft produce, hard-boiled eggs for salad, and even mincing through chunks of raw meat for meatballs. While it is not recommended to put this chopper in the dishwasher, it dissembles easily for cleaning by hand.

  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 5.25 x 4.25 inches
  • Capacity: 2 cups
  • Settings: 2

Best Electric: Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus

Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus Food Chopper
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Bed Bath & Beyond and Home Depot.

Pros: This features a powerful motor, can be operated with just the touch of a button and has dishwasher-safe parts.

Cons: It might be a little loud for some, and you need to hold the button down to run it continuously.

Similar to our Best Overall pick, this model looks and functions similarly to a food processor. Made by Cuisinart, the Mini-Prep Plus has two settings: chop and grind, operable with the touch of a button. The "chop" setting uses the sharp side of the S-shaped blade, which makes it ideal for softer foods like herbs and onions, while the "grind" setting uses the blunt side of the blade — designed to be used with harder foods like peppercorns or hard cheeses.

This machine has a three-cup bowl and a locking lid that features holes to add liquid or oils. Equipped with a 240-watt motor, it's both powerful and speedy (just be sure to watch that you don't over-chop or grind your ingredients), and while some might find it a bit loud, it works so quickly that the noise doesn't last long.

Weighing in at just 2.2 pounds, it's very lightweight and easy to pull out for use, and it won't take up much space to store. The bowl, lid, and blade can all go into the dishwasher for cleanup, and it comes in a handful of colors that you can coordinate to match your kitchen decor.

  • Dimensions: 9.25 x 7 x 5 inches
  • Capacity: 3 cups
  • Settings: 2

Best Large Capacity: KitchenAid 5-Cup Cordless Food Chopper

KitchenAid 5-Cup Cordless Food Chopper
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Williams Sonoma and Home Depot.

Pros: This stylish chopper runs on a rechargeable battery, so you can use it anywhere. It also comes with a whisk accessory that lets you make mayonnaise and whipped cream quickly.

Cons: You will have to hold down the button for it to continuously run. The blade doesn't lock, so it will slide down as you tip the bowl to empty it. You also can't use it while it's charging.

When prepping food for a crowd, this cordless five-cup chopper by KitchenAid is an excellent tool to have. It runs on a rechargeable 12-volt lithium-ion battery, allowing you to move the machine anywhere without having to worry about a cord getting in the way. It can chop up to 40 onions on a full charge — charging from empty to full only takes about two hours (with an option to quickly charge in just 10 minutes).

This model has two speeds, a fast chop and a slow chop, and can also pulse ingredients with the touch of the tab on the handle. Just like a food processor, you can use this to make hummus or olive tapenade, and the locking lid also has a hole so you can add liquids or oil while it's running. This chopper also comes with a whisking accessory that holds liquid down so the blades can properly aerate it, allowing you to make mayonnaise or whipped cream in just a few minutes. All in all, its performance and ease of use make it worth it. The five-cup work bowl, lid, stainless steel blade, and whisk accessory are all dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.

  • Dimensions: 6.6 x 5.5 x 10.4 inches
  • Capacity: 5 cups
  • Settings: 2

Best Mini: Kuhn Rikon Pull Chopper

Kuhn Rikon Pull Food Chopper
Courtesy of Amazon

Pros: The pull cord is simple to operate, and this compact unit is easy to clean. It's very portable and can be used anywhere since it doesn't need electricity.

Cons: Its smaller size means you likely have to do more pre-cutting vegetables to fit in the bowl. The lid must be washed by hand.

Chop onions, garlic, and more in this best-selling chopper from Kuhn Rikon. Designed with just three pieces — the bowl, blade, and cover — it's simple to operate: just pull the handle three to five times for a rough chop, 10 times for a finer chop, and 15 or more times to create purees, sauces, or dips.

The blades are made from stainless steel and hold their edge for a long time. You can use this to make pico de gallo in just seconds, mince fresh herbs, or chop walnuts or almonds to top your favorite baked goods. Even though we consider this two-cup capacity chopper a "mini," it's still pretty spacious.

The nonslip base keeps the chopper from sliding while you're using it, and when you're done, the bowl and the blades are safe to wash in the top rack of the dishwasher, though the lid should be washed by hand.

  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 5.25 x 4.25 inches
  • Capacity: 2 cups
  • Settings: 1

Conclusion

No matter what your chopping needs are, there is a model out there that can help you prep efficiently and easily. Our favorite is the KitchenAid 3.5-Cup Food Chopper, which has plenty of power, is a breeze to use, and delivers effortless chopping at the touch of a button. If you prefer a manual option that is also extremely portable, check out the Kuhn Rikon Pull Chopper.

Factors to Consider

Capacity

The size of your food chopper will largely depend on your needs: do you cook for a large family or just for one or two? Another factor is storage space, as some models can take up as much room as a food processor. You can always choose a smaller size and work in batches, but if storage space isn't an issue, you can certainly spring for a larger capacity option.

Electric vs. Manual

Manually operated choppers often use a pull-type action or a plunger action and are great for quick chopping onions or herbs. Since they don't require electricity, they can be used indoors or outdoors — a great option if you have an outdoor kitchen or want to use it while camping. Electric models are quicker, more powerful, and a better choice if you have a lot of chopping to do, but you'll typically be limited to where you can use them since you need an outlet nearby.

Operation

Consider how the food chopper operates, whether it's via a handle you pull or a button you press. Some electric models feature a switch that allows for continuous operation, while others require that you hold down a button or tab. Choose one that feels comfortable for you to use, especially if you have any physical limitations that make it difficult to operate.

Accessories

Most food choppers are pretty bare-bones when it comes to accessories, but some models offer additional blades or attachments to diversify their use. If this is important to you, shop around for a chopper that includes extras, from additional work bowls to whisking accessories.

Clean Up

Another factor to keep in mind is the ease of cleaning. If you're easily annoyed by hand washing separate pieces, be sure that your food chopper is dishwasher safe. Be warned that automatic dishwashers have a reputation for dulling blades, even dishwasher-safe ones, so to get more life out of their edges, try to wash them by hand whenever possible.

The Research

We consulted two culinary experts, combined with our writer's expertise, to determine what makes a great food chopper before selecting several options that were among the most popular brands in this field. Our final picks neet or exceed expectations for quality of construction, value, and performance.

Pro Panel Q+A

Q: When is a food chopper preferable over a knife?

A: "[Food choppers] are great for any moist-cooking techniques, such as stock making, braising, stews, or simmered sauces," says Roszkowski. The pressure of using a vegetable chopper can slightly crush the cell walls of vegetables, making them slightly wetter, something to consider if you prefer less moisture for wok cooking or achieving caramelization over high heat, according to Roszkowski.

Q: Are there any best practices for using a food chopper?

A: "Use the same etiquette and wash and peel produce as you would before as if you were using a knife," says Roszkowski. "Rinse the vegetable chopper between produce if using for different recipes. Save the typically strong smelling items like onions for last, and anything that will pick up flavors, such as strawberries, should be processed first."

Q: What's the difference between a food processor and a food chopper?

A: Food choppers typically come with one blade for all functions. Food processors are usually larger in capacity, have more settings, and come with multiple blades to make a variety of cuts.

Q: Can you make smoothies with a food chopper?

A: Not really, but it depends on the model. Most food choppers aren't powerful enough to thoroughly puree ice or frozen fruits, but if you're looking to make a fresh fruit smoothie with juice or water, you may be able to achieve a decent puree that you can drink.

Q: Is there anything that shouldn't be prepped with a food chopper?

A: "Whenever I have to cut something perfectly — for example, a garnish — I avoid using a food chopper," says Ziebell. "I also try to avoid putting hard and fibrous ingredients through it like unpeeled ginger or lemongrass, I'll typically cook them down a bit before attempting to cut them in an effort to soften them up and avoid damaging the blade or machine."

Q: How do you clean a food chopper?

A: Always consult your owner's manual to learn which parts are safe for the dishwasher. Hand washing is preferable for stainless steel blades because it helps to keep the blade's sharp edge from dulling. "Make sure to wash with soapy water and dry completely before putting away for storage between uses," says Roszkowski.

Our Expertise

This piece was written by Bernadette Machard de Gramont, a Los Angeles-based writer who specializes in global food and wine content. After a stint at Williams Sonoma Headquarters in San Francisco, she now researches and tests a variety of cookware, bakeware, and wine tools, and interviews field experts for their insight.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles