This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

The famous Jennifer Aniston Salad is a hearty, flavorful recipe made with a base of quinoa and nutty chickpeas, and loaded with cucumber, red onion, fresh herbs, tangy feta, chopped pistachios, and tossed in a simple lemon vinaigrette.

Top view green salad with chickpeas topped with crumbled cheese in a wooden bowl.
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

The Jennifer Aniston salad, also called the “Rachel Salad,” is rumored to be the lunch that Jennifer Aniston ate every day on the set of the TV show, Friends. Even though this recipe went viral, Jennifer explained in an interview that her salad was actually quite different. The salad she made on a daily basis consisted of shredded lettuce, chicken, egg whites, a couple of garbanzo beans, bacon, and a basic vinaigrette.

Whether she used these ingredients in her salad, I simply cannot get enough of this wonderfully fresh, flavorful, textural, nutritious salad. You’ll want to make it on repeat too!

Summary

  • Filling: This salad is packed with vegetables, plant-based protein, and many essential vitamins and minerals. You can choose to enjoy this as a well-balanced vegetarian main or a healthy side dish.
  • So delicious: The combination of crisp vegetables, fresh herbs, hearty quinoa, nutty chickpeas, and feta cheese creates a refreshing flavor profile. And the light, bright salad dressing is the perfect finishing touch.
  • Quick and easy: Once you have the quinoa cooked, this salad comes together in no time at all. To save time, we like to prep the fresh ingredients while the quinoa cooks. Since you don’t have to worry about lettuce wilting, and the salad lasts several days in the fridge, this recipe is great for meal prep, too!
Jennifer Aniston Salad in a large bowl topped with fresh herbs and crumbled feta cheese.

Ingredients Needed

You will fall in love with the taste and texture of this salad. I love it so much and even my kids love it too. From the tasty vinaigrette to the crisp cucumber, fresh herbs, and crunch from pistachios, every bite gets better than the next. Here’s everything you’ll need to make it:

  • Quinoa: This protein-packed, gluten-free grain makes this dish super hearty and satisfying.
  • Chickpeas: A great source of plant-based protein in this vegetarian salad. The mild nutty, almost bland, slightly earthy taste blends well with the other ingredients.
  • Cucumber: I recommend English cucumbers because they are sweeter and contain very few seeds. English cucumbers are more long and narrow than the American variety.
  • Red onion: Adds color and a delicious depth of flavor.
  • Herbs: A combination of fresh parsley, mint leaves, and dill really elevates this dish.
  • Pistachios: Use roasted, shelled pistachios for the best flavor and a nice crunch.
  • Cheese: Creamy feta cheese adds tang, and is a great complement to the other flavors in the salad.
  • Salt & pepper: To make all of the flavors pop! Add as much as you need to get the taste just right.
  • For the dressing: The homemade vinaigrette is a simple mix of lemon juice, lemon zest, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, olive oil, salt, & pepper.
Quinoa, chickpeas, onion, pistachios, cucumber and fresh herbs divided into portions.

How To Make It

  1. Add the salad ingredients: To a large bowl, add the cooked quinoa, chickpeas, cucumber, onion, and finely chopped fresh herbs.
  2. Make the dressing: To a small jar, add all the dressing ingredients and shake to emulsify.
  3. Toss the salad in dressing: Drizzle the salad with the dressing and toss to combine.
  4. Finish and serve: Top with the pistachios and feta cheese and season to your taste, if needed.

My Pro Tip

Recipe Tip

  • To cool the quinoa quickly: You will want to use cooled quinoa in this recipe. If you’re cooking the quinoa just before making the salad, you can transfer it to a bowl and place it in the freezer and toss occasionally until cooled.
  • To take the bite out of the onions: If onions are a bit strong for your taste, soak them in a small bowl with cold water while you prep the other ingredients.
  • Add the dressing just before serving: To keep the salad fresh, it’s best to toss the salad in the dressing just before serving.

Frequently asked questions

What is the actual Jennifer Aniston salad?

This particular salad recipe went viral for being the original salad that Jen ate every day for 10 years. However, since it became so popular, she has explained that her salad actually was made with shredded lettuce, chicken, egg whites, a couple of garbanzo beans, bacon, and a basic vinaigrette.

Is the Jennifer Aniston salad good for you?

This recipe for the Jennifer Aniston salad is packed with nutrient-rich ingredients and it contains under 500 calories for a large meal-size salad. It is also completely gluten-free and vegetarian. Make it vegan and dairy free by omitting the cheese or using a dairy-free cheese.

top view salad bowl

Variations

Salads like this one, are easy to customize to your taste preference and what you have available. Here are some options:

  • Add greens: You can use this recipe as a topper over baby spinach leaves, mixed greens, or chopped romaine. Or you could simply mix in a handful of chopped greens to this salad.
  • Change up the grain: Many recipes for the Jennifer Aniston salad use bulgar instead of quinoa. It’s similar to quinoa but it has less protein and it is not gluten-free.
  • Cheese: Feel free to swap the feta cheese with goat cheese, blue cheese, gorgonzola cheese, or mozzarella.
  • Nuts: If you don’t have roasted pistachios on hand, try almonds, pecans, or walnuts.
  • More protein: Add grilled chicken or shrimp for a boost in protein!

Storage Recommendations

This easy quinoa salad will keep well for about 3-4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Tossed salad with quinoa, chickpeas, cucumber, red onion, herbs and feta.

More Salad Recipes

FOLLOW me on FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | TWITTER for all of our latest blog posts and recipes.

5 from 5 votes

Jennifer Aniston Salad

By: Rena
Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 0 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
top view green salad with chickpeas topped with crumbled cheese in a wooden round bowl
A hearty, flavorful recipe made with a base of quinoa and nutty chickpeas, and loaded with cucumber, red onion, fresh herbs, tangy feta, chopped pistachios, and tossed in a simple lemon vinaigrette.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 English cucumber, diced
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 bunch fresh mint leaves, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • 1/4 bunch fresh dill, minced
  • 1/2 cup roasted and shelled pistachios, chopped
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste

Dressing:

  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • To a large bowl, add the cooked quinoa, chickpeas, cucumber, onion, and finely chopped fresh herbs.
  • To a small jar, add all the dressing ingredients and shake to emulsify.
  • Drizzle the salad with the dressing and toss to combine.
  • Top with the pistachios and feta cheese and season to your taste, if needed.

Video

Notes

This will keep well for about 3-4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 456kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 14gFat: 30gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 1605mgPotassium: 548mgFiber: 5gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 932IUVitamin C: 15mgCalcium: 253mgIron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: American, Greek
Tried this recipe?Mention @healthyfitnessmeals or tag #healthyfitnessmeals!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




1 Comment