In every big block store, there are hundreds of small appliances vying for space in your kitchen. And every year the latest “must have” trends are pushed via food blogs – stand mixers, air fryers, sous vide cookers … Unfortunately, most become albatrosses that simply take up space. But in my opinion, blenders are forever. Especially on a dairy-free diet. And you don’t need to pay fad prices for this everyday necessity.
The Best Blenders for Dairy-Free Living on a Budget
Blenders are the key to making creamy sauces, smoothies, and even homemade cheeses. But it’s important to find one that fits your needs and your budget. The following includes practical picks from my home and from Sarah’s household. Note that the price listed is roughly what you can expect to find these blenders on sale for. They might go on even cheaper, and they do have higher “full retail prices” via some stores.
Typical Price: $30
Let’s start small. Literally. We’ve tested more than a dozen different blenders over the years, from basic to high-powered machines, and this is still our favorite. Perhaps it’s my ability to relate to this pint-size powerhouse, but it really does get the job done.
What I love most about this product is the small cups and the dual blades. It comes with a grinder blade that pulverizes nuts into nut butter. It’s perfect for making homemade dairy-free cheeses and sauces, since it can do the work of a food processor, but in much smaller batches.
The blender blade and cup are great for making smoothies, since we always make our own anyway. And it comes with two cups, so we can each have our own without having to wait for the other person to finish. But this might not be the best option for larger households or batch cooking.
Typical Price: $70
I’ve used quite a few $20 to $40 full-size blenders over the years, and really can’t recommend any of them. Special diets require a sturdy machine that can chop, puree, grind, and avoid a melt down. All of the really cheap ones I’ve dealt with started smoking, cracked, or simply stopped working within a few months to a year. At that rate of replacement, the price starts adding up.
So my baseline big blender recommendation is for this Oster. It’s actually quite powerful and well built for a modestly-priced blender. It also boasts various blending functionalities, from pulse to chop to high speed. And it comes with a bonus large smoothie cup. But the coolest part, is their demo video is actually for making dairy-free cashew cream!
Typical Price: $100
Despite the reasonable price, this is a high-speed blender that can compete with luxury brands. My husband randomly gifted this blender to me more than a decade ago when he spotted it on a holiday sale for just $80 (he didn’t wait for Christmas!). It’s still going strong. This workhorse has 1100 watts of crushing power, and the model we have includes both a big pitcher and two personal smoothie cups with their own blade.
If you only need a full-size blender, they have a basic Ninja Professional without the extras. But the upgrade to the cups is worth it for small batch dairy-free recipes. I’ve never needed a food processor with this machine in our kitchen. But if you still feel like you need a full-size food processor, they sell a Ninja Blender with Food Processor attachment, too!
Typical Price: $90
Sarah raves about this machine, which blends and cooks all in one spot.
I never had a high-powered blender before; it’s really handy! I also like that you can cook right in the blender. It makes great dairy-free cream soups.
The full retail price is a bit higher for the extra functionality, but it’s usually on sale, and the discounts can be steep.