Jennifer Aniston Salad is packed with protein, fiber, and nutrients, making it a perfect option for a light lunch or dinner. The combination of quinoa, cucumber, chickpeas, red onion, mint, parsley, and feta cheese creates a refreshing and satisfying flavor, while the zesty lemon dressing adds a tangy kick. Give this salad a try and enjoy the taste of this delicious and balanced dish!
This salad became viral on Tiktok and has been rumored to be a daily favorite of Jennifer Aniston while she was filming Friends. But in one of her interviews, Jennifer revealed that the salad she ate wasn’t the same as the viral one. Nevertheless, the salad continues to be associated with Jennifer’s name, and the undeniable fact is that it’s incredibly delicious and healthy.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Easy and quick to make. This quinoa salad is a breeze to put together, with just a few simple steps to follow. Plus, you can prepare the quinoa and dressing in advance, making it a great option for busy weeknights or meal prep.
- Healthy and nutritious. This salad is packed with protein, fiber, healthy fats, and a variety of vitamins and minerals, making it a great choice for those looking to eat a balanced and nutritious diet.
- Great for meal prep. If you’re someone who likes to plan your meals in advance, the Jennifer Aniston Salad is a great option. It doesn’t get soggy in the fridge, so you can make a big batch and enjoy it throughout the week. In fact, the salad tastes even better on the second day, as the flavors have had a chance to blend together. So, whether you’re making it for lunch or dinner, this salad is a tasty and very practical choice.
- Versatile and customizable. This salad can be adapted to suit your tastes and preferences. See some ideas to how to customize below.
- Quinoa. Quinoa is a gluten-free and protein-rich grain that is commonly used in salads. It is a good source of fiber, magnesium, and iron. You can also substitute it with bulgur, like in the original recipe.
- Chickpeas are a good source of protein, fiber, and iron. Canned chickpeas are used in this recipe for convenience, but you can also cook dried chickpeas if you prefer.
- English cucumber. This type of cucumber is often used in salads because it has a crisp texture and mild flavor. But feel free to choose any cucumbers you like.
- Red Onion gives great flavor, and also adds visual appeal to this salad.
- Mint and parsley. These herbs add a super refreshing touch to the salad.
- Crumbled Feta Cheese adds a tangy, creamy, and salty taste and flavor.
- Pistachios add a crunchy texture and nutty flavor to the salad. Use salted and roasted pistachios.
- Lemon juice. Freshly squeezed lemon juice adds a bright and tangy flavor to the dressing.
- Olive oil. Use extra virgin olive oil.
- Salt and pepper to season the dressing and salad.
Ideas to Customize
Thanks to its versatility and customizability, this salad can be easily adapted to suit your taste preferences. Here are some ideas for ingredients you could add to make it your own:
- Use bulgur instead of quinoa. The original version of this salad contains bulgur, but the quinoa version also gained huge popularity, especially among those who are on a gluten-free diet. The Bulgur version is super delicious as well.
- Swap out the vegetables. You can customize this salad by swapping out the cucumber or red onion for other vegetables, such as cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, or roasted sweet potatoes.
- Use different herbs. If you don’t have mint or parsley on hand, you could try using other fresh herbs like cilantro or basil instead.
- Try different nuts or cheese. If you’re not a fan of pistachios or feta cheese, you could try using other nuts like almonds or walnuts, and other types of cheese like goat cheese or shredded Parmesan.
- Add avocado: For some extra creaminess and healthy fats, you could add some sliced avocado to this salad.
- Add grilled salmon or shrimp. If you are not vegetarian, you can add grilled salmon or shrimp for an extra boost of protein. Simply cook the protein of your choice separately and add it to the salad before serving.
- Drizzle with balsamic glaze. If you’re looking for a different dressing option, you could try drizzling the salad with balsamic glaze or a vinaigrette made with honey, Dijon mustard, and apple cider vinegar.
- Make it spicy. If you like a bit of heat, you could add some red pepper flakes or diced jalapeño to this salad for a spicy kick.
- Make it vegan. For a vegan option, simply choose the vegan feta cheese or use another vegan cheese alternative.
How to Store
Store the salad in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. It doesn’t get soggy in the fridge, and tastes amazing on the second day, as the flavors melt together even more. Before serving, give the salad a good stir to refresh it and distribute the flavors evenly. If you want pistachios to stay crunchy, you can sprinkle the salad with them before serving.
More Healthy Well-Balanced Salad Recipes
So whether you’re trying to eat healthier or simply looking for a tasty and satisfying meal, this salad is a perfect option. It’s easy to prepare, versatile and can be enjoyed on its own or as a side dish with your favorite protein. It is really worth a try, you’ll be delighted!
For the Salad:
- 1 ½ cup quinoa, cooked
- 1 English cucumber, chopped
- 1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ¼ cup red onion, finely chopped
- ¼ cup fresh mint, chopped
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- ⅓ cup pistachios, shelled and coarsely chopped
- ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
For the Dressing:
- lemon juice of 1 lemon
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp salt or to taste
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper or to taste
- Place quinoa and water to a small saucepan and over medium heat, bring to a boil. Cover with a lid, lower the heat and cook for 10-15 minutes until quinoa is cooked through and water is absorbed. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Whisk well all the ingredients for the dressing.
- Fluff quinoa with a fork. In a large bowl, add quinoa, chickpeas, and chopped cucumber, red onion, mint, parsley, coarsely chopped pistachios, and crumbled feta cheese. Add the dressing and gently toss to coat all the ingredients in a dressing.