Jennifer Aniston Salad is fresh, vibrant, and famously delicious! It’s easy to make in one bowl, packed with protein, and perfect for meal prep.
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Full of protein, crunchy veggies and pistachios, fresh herbs, feta cheese, and a lemon vinaigrette, it really is the perfect salad.
Jennifer shared her recipe on the Living Proof Instagram account, and I had to try it. I didn’t have bulgur on hand, so I went with quinoa for the base, it’s more widely available and used nowadays.
I am now obsessed with the Jennifer Aniston quinoa salad, it lives up the hype!
Some believed she ate this salad every day while filming Friends but further research revealed she ate a cobb salad. Which wasn’t really a cobb salad but rather a salad with added turkey bacon and garbanzo beans.
Ingredients for Jennifer Aniston Salad
This Jennifer Aniston Salad recipe is made with a small list of pantry staples and fresh ingredients.
- Quinoa: You can use naturally gluten-free white quinoa or tri-color quinoa.
- Chickpeas: I like cooked Instant Pot chickpeas but canned chickpeas or garbanzo beans work too and save time.
- Cucumber: Adds crunch! I like English cucumbers for their fresh taste.
- Red onion: For depth of flavor and more crunch.
- Fresh herbs: Finely chopped parsley and mint add another layer of flavor. You can use flat-leaf parsley or curly parsley, but fresh is best for both herbs.
- Pistachios: You’ll want roasted and salted pistachios, they add healthy fats, more taste, and more protein!
- Salad dressing: Extra virgin olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice, salt, and pepper make up the refreshing healthy salad dressing.
- Feta cheese: Adds a sharp, creamy taste to the salad. I recommend buying a block of feta and crumble it yourself to avoid anti-caking agents.
How to Make Jennifer Aniston Salad
Here is an overview of how to make the viral Jennifer Aniston Salad. All it takes is one bowl and a few simple steps. There is a full recipe card below.
- Cook quinoa: Add quinoa, cold water, and a pinch of salt to a medium size pot. Cover, and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low and cook covered for 12 minutes, or according to package instructions. Let it stand for 5-10 minutes covered. You can also follow my easy step-by-step on how to cook quinoa on the stove or make quinoa in Instant Pot.
- Make the dressing: While your quinoa cooks, add olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, mint, salt, and pepper to a large salad bowl. Whisk well to combine.
- Add other ingredients: Add chickpeas, cucumber, red onion, feta cheese and pistachios to the bowl with dressing. Meanwhile, fluff the quinoa with a fork and make sure it is cooled to at least room temperature.
- Add quinoa and mix: Add cooked quinoa to the salad and stir very well. You can serve Jennifer Aniston salad immediately or chill in the fridge for about an hour.
Tips for Best Results and Variations
This Jennifer Aniston salad recipe is extremely easy to make, here are a few tips to make it incredibly delicious!
- Let cooked quinoa cool: Freshly cooked quinoa will be hot, for best results make sure you let it cool for at least 5 minutes. Slightly warm, room temperature quinoa will soak up the dressing and melt the feta cheese a bit, but hot quinoa will make the salad mushy.
- Cook quinoa al dente: Cooked quinoa should have a little bite to it with a firm, slightly chewy texture. That’s why I use less water.
- No need to rinse quinoa: Most pre-packaged quinoa has been pre-rinsed so you can skip rinsing. However, if you find it a bit bitter because of the saponin coating, you can rinse in a very fine mesh sieve under cold water before cooking.
- If you would like to use bulgur: This super grain is just as easy to make. Start by rinsing 1 cup bulgur wheat and drain well. Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil, stir in the drained bulgur along with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Once water bubbles, lower the heat, cover, and let it simmer for 12 minutes until no liquid remains. Remove from heat, let it sit covered for 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
- Add chicken: Add more protein to this nourishing salad with diced yogurt marinated chicken, grilled chicken breast, baked chicken breast or chicken breast in Instant Pot.
- Make it vegan: Use vegan feta cheese. The feta adds amazing flavor so I do not recommend leaving it out.
- Add avocado: Diced avocado will add more creaminess and healthy fats.
What to Serve Viral Jennifer Aniston Quinoa Salad with?
I love meal prepping this Jennifer Aniston salad for lunches throughout the week, bringing with me on a potluck, or serving it next to protein for a full, hearty meal!
We love it next to chicken! Yogurt marinated chicken, bruschetta chicken, chimichurri chicken, and crockpot BBQ pulled chicken are on repeat for us right now. We also love grilled salmon in the summer.
Can I Make It Ahead for Meal Prep?
Yes! This Jennifer Aniston salad recipe is perfect for meal prep. Once mixed, the salad is great for 3-4 days and you can make it up to 5 days in advance with the below suggestions.
Cook quinoa ahead: Cooked quinoa will last up to 5 days if stored in an airtight container and refrigerated.
Make dressing ahead: You can also prepare the dressing with olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper, and store in a jar.
Pre-cut cucumber: Store chopped cucumber on the side and add before serving.
How to Store
Store: Place salad leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Freeze: You can freeze the salad. I recommend to omit the cucumber because the leftovers won’t thaw well with cucumber becoming soggy.
A Jennifer Aniston salad is a viral salad made with bulgur wheat, cucumber, red onion, chickpeas, pistachios, fresh mint and parsley, and feta cheese. Then drizzled with a simple salad dressing of lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
It is very healthy! All the ingredients are packed with protein, healthy fats, and gluten-free. It’s also a great source of fiber, magnesium, and iron.
Jennifer Aniston ate the Jennifer Aniston salad all the time and explained it as her “perfect salad”.
According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, Jennifer Aniston ate a cobb salad with turkey bacon and garbanzo beans every day, for ten years, while filming Friends.
More Quinoa Recipes to Try
- Broccoli quinoa salad
- Kale and quinoa salad
- Avocado blueberry quinoa salad
- Southwest quinoa salad
- Black bean quinoa salad
- One pot chicken quinoa
- Black bean quinoa casserole
More Meal Prep Salad Recipes
Jennifer Aniston Salad
- 1 cup quinoa uncooked
- 1 3/4 cups cold water
- 1/3 cup olive oil extra virgin
- 1 large lemon zest and juice of
- 3/4 cup parsley finely chopped
- 1/2 cup mint finely chopped
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 15 ounces can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 1/2 long English cucumber diced
- 1/3 cup red onion diced
- 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbled
- 1/2 cup pistachios roasted and salted
- In a medium pot, add quinoa, cold water and a pinch of salt. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 12 minutes. Let it stand for 5-10 minutes covered.
- Meanwhile, in a large salad bowl, combine olive oil, lemon zest and lemon juice, parsley, mint, salt and pepper. Whisk well.
- Then add chickpeas, cucumber, red onion, feta cheese and pistachios. Fluff quinoa with a fork and make sure it is cooled to at least room temperature.
- Add cooked quinoa to the bowl, stir salad very well and and serve immediately or let chill in the fridge for about an hour.
- Store: Refrigerate covered for up to 5 days.
- Freeze: Omit cucumber then. Leftovers won’t thaw well with cucumber becoming soggy.