If you haven't tried the viral Jennifer Aniston Salad, you've been missing out! It's a delicious healthy salad with a base of fluffy quinoa, crisp cucumbers, fresh herbs and chickpeas, topped with creamy feta and pistachios for crunch. Every spoon makes you want more!
It’s fresh, simple, light yet satisfying, as it's packed with protein, fibre and nutrients. Oh and it's absolutely delicious!
You all know that I love eating salads with a spoon, and this is another recipe where you can do just that! With every mouthful you can try a bit of all the yummy ingredients. From the fluffy quinoa, the crunchy cucumbers, the fresh mint and parsley, to the creamy chickpeas and feta cheese, with of course the nutty pistachios.
Dressed with a simple lemon dressing bringing it all together. Some more salads you can eat with a spoon are my quinoa salad, chopped asian salad and shirazi salad.
I can't believe it took me this long to try this Jennifer Aniston salad! Last year, social media and the internet went crazy with this famous salad that she apparently ate everyday for 10 years straight while shooting the popular tv show Friends. I’ve always been a big Jennifer Aniston fan, and feel silly for not trying it sooner! I mean it was a viral recipe for a reason!
The great thing is that it this viral salad recipe doesn't go soggy so it's great for meal prep. Make a double batch and you have lunch prepared for days! If you add the dressing before eating it, it keeps it nice and crunchy. It's also easily made vegan too with just one easy substitution. Some more healthy meal prep ideas are my chickpea tuna, granola and overnight oats.
Table of Contents
Story behind the viral Jennifer Aniston Salad
The funny story behind it though, is that since this salad went so crazy over tiktok and instagram, it got the attention of the beautiful star herself! Jennifer Aniston or Rachel Green as we also know her, came out to confirm that she in fact didn't eat this particular salad for 10 years, but she had shared it back in 2015 on her instagram as her “perfect salad”. She did in fact, eat a cobb salad instead everyday consisting of chopped lettuce, chicken breast, turkey bacon, boiled egg, and so on with her co-star Lisa Kudrow.
Jennifer Aniston did however say, that she loved the look of the viral salad and would eat it, so let's take her word for it 🙂
Why you'll love this recipe
- Quick & Easy: Perfect for work lunches or a quick meal, it can all be whipped up in no time!
- Healthy and nutritious: Packed with protein and fiber from quinoa and chickpeas, along with healthy fats and protein from the feta and pistachios, you’re left satisfied
- Flavor bomb: The combination of different textures and delicious flavors with a light lemony dressing makes you want more with every spoon
- Customizable: Feel free to experiment with different veggies or ingredients such as using bulgur wheat instead of quinoa, or using vegan feta to keep it plant-based. There aren't any rules. Use the original as the base, and make it the way you like
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Quinoa is my preferred grain for the base of this salad which is light, fluffy, high in protein and fiber. It's also gluten-free too! You can use bulgur wheat which is in the classic Jennifer Aniston salad, or brown rice, farrow or even risoni
- Chickpeas which are also known as garbanzo beans are little legumes packed with protein and nutrients. You can also use other legumes or beans such as lentils or cannellini beans
- Cucumber adds a cool freshness and lovely crunch. Persian cucumbers or Lebanese cucumbers are my favorite as they have more flavor and less watery
- Fresh herbs are key for the ultimate freshness! Mint and parsley work in harmony together, you can experiment with fresh dill, cilantro or basil
- Feta cheese is creamy, tangy and salty and adds so much flavor. Opt for a vegan feta to make this salad 100% plant-based
- Red onion adds bite and spice. I always soak my onion in water to remove the harsh oniony flavor. Shallots or even green onions can be used for a milder bite
- Pistachios are the nutty stars for the perfect crunch. Other nuts such as almonds, cashews or walnuts will work too. Sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds are a great nut-free option
- A simple dressing with extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice is all you need for the perfect light, lemony zesty dressing
How to make Jennifer Aniston Salad
Make the viral Jennifer Aniston Salad in no time at all. Follow the simple steps below.
- Rinse quinoa under water and add to a small pot with 1 cup of water. Cook for 15 minutes over medium heat
- Once cooked, place the lid on to steam for 5 minutes. Then fluff it with a fork and allow to cool. Here are more quinoa cooking tips
- Finely dice red onion and to remove the harsh oniony flavor I like to soak in water for 10 minutes
- Chop cucumbers into cubes, roughly chop the herbs and pistachios. Add to a large bowl with drained chickpeas, quinoa, red onion and crumbled feta cheese
- In a small bowl whisk lemon juice, olive oil with salt and pepper
- Pour dressing over the salad, stir to combine and it’s ready to serve!
Tips and Tricks
- Make fluffy quinoa with the correct amount of water and steaming trick otherwise you can end up with mushy quinoa which doesn't taste good. Here are my extra tips for the perfect quinoa
- If you're like me, and don't like the harsh oniony flavor, ensure to dice the red onion into tiny cubes. Then soak in water for 10 minutes while preparing the rest of the ingredients
- If making an extra batch for meal prep, add the dressing right before serving for the ultimate freshness and crisp and enjoy it all week!
- Add the pistachios just before eating which keeps them crunchy, as they can go soft
- Get creative with toppings or other ingredients such as avocado, crispy tofu or grilled chicken, shrimp or salmon
Storage and Reheating
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. The quinoa and veggies will hold up well, but the pistachios might soften a bit
- You can make an extra batch of the salad for meal prep for the whole week! I’d suggest dressing the salad right before serving for the perfect crisp texture
- You can reheat the quinoa if you like, but the salad is best enjoyed chilled
So there are in fact 2 Jennifer Aniston salads. A cobb salad which she ate everyday for 10 years while filming Friends, or this quinoa/bulgur chickpea salad which she shared on her instagram back in 2015 as “her perfect salad” and has gone viral on the internet since last year
Yes this recipe is nutritious, made with whole grains such as quinoa or bulgur, chickpeas which are high in protein and fiber, veggies, and healthy fats from the feta cheese, olive oil and pistachios. If you’re looking for lower calorie options, you can reduce the pistachio and olive oil ratios
She ate a cobb salad everyday with lettuce, grilled chicken turkey bacon, eggs and other ingredients, with an Italian dressing
Absolutely! Just store the dressing separately and assemble right before serving. The quinoa and veggies will hold up well all week
More Healthy Salads
- Healthy Caesar Salad
- Quinoa Salad
- Chopped Greek Salad
- Kani Salad
- Chickpea Avocado Salad
- Asian Chopped Salad
- Rocket Pear and Parmesan Salad
- Shirazi Salad
I love seeing your creations and remakes, so be sure to rate the recipe, comment and share your Jennifer Aniston Salad photo on Instagram so I can share the love!
Jennifer Aniston Salad (Viral Recipe, Worth the Hype!)
- 1 cup
cooked quinoa - or ½ cup raw quinoa
- 1 15oz / 425g can chickpeas, drained
- 2.5oz / 70g feta cheese (or vegan feta)
- 2 medium Persian or Lebanese cucumbers
- ½ red onion
- Handful fresh parsley and mint leaves
- ¼ cup pistachios
- 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small lemon juiced
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Rinse the quinoa under water and add to a small pot with 1 cup of water. Cook for 15 minutes over medium heat, until most of the water has been absorbed
- Remove off the heat and place the lid on, to allow it to steam for 5 minutes. Then fluff it with a fork (here’s my quinoa recipe with extra tips for the perfect fluffy quinoa)
- While the quinoa is cooking, finely dice the red onion. To remove the harsh oniony flavor, soak in water for 10 minutes while preparing the rest of the ingredients
- Chop the cucumbers into cubes and add to a large bowl with the chickpeas. Roughly chop up the herbs and pistachios and add the bowl along with the cooked quinoa, red onion and then crumble in the feta cheese
- Whisk the dressing in a small bowl or jar and pour over the salad. Gently stir the salad so that it's all coated and serve up your delicious vibrant Jennifer Aniston Salad!