The Jennifer Aniston Salad
The Jennifer Aniston Salad is a Mediterranean-inspired, refreshing and healthy salad that has gained popularity due to its association with the actress Jennifer Aniston. Packed with nutritious ingredients like bulgur wheat, cucumber, chickpeas, red onion, parsley, mint, feta cheese, and pistachios, this salad is a great choice for a light lunch or a side dish.
Salads are a great way to incorporate fresh produce into your diet, year-round! Other favorites of mine are Tabbouleh, Panzanella Salad and Warm Lentil Salad with Bacon and Walnuts.
A while back, this salad took the internet by storm! Everybody was sharing a version of it, claiming it was the salad that Jennifer Aniston ate on the set of Friends every day for 10 years.
Not too long after that, Jen came forward and said that while this salad did look delicious, it was not the one she used to eat. Instead, it was a “doctored up” cobb salad, with turkey bacon and garbanzo beans (chickpeas).
Well, sorry Jennifer, but I find the fake Jennifer Aniston Salad much better and I’m currently obsessed with it. So much so, that I could definitely see myself eating it for lunch every day for 10 years! 😋 It is basically a twist on one of my favorite salads, tabbouleh, so it’s no surprise I’m a fan!
It did take me a while to jump on the Jen Aniston salad bandwagon because I wanted to experiment with it a few times, to get it just right. After a few months of tweaking, this is what I consider the perfect version of this viral salad!
I hope you guys enjoy it! ♥️
To make the Jennifer Aniston salad recipe, you will need:
- Bulgur Wheat – Bulgur wheat is a whole grain made from boiled and cracked wheat kernels. It is a staple in Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and African cuisines, and is commonly used to make dishes like tabbouleh, kibbeh, and pilaf. It adds a bit of protein and texture to this salad!
- Chickpeas – Chickpeas are a good source of protein, fiber, and other nutrients, and they add great texture and flavor to this salad. You’ll need a can of chickpeas, drained. Alternatively, you can cook them from dried.
- Cucumbers – I use 3 Persian cucumbers, which are seedless and have a slightly sweeter flavor than other varieties. That being said, you can use whatever kind of salad cucumbers you have on hand.
- Red Onion – Red onions have a mild, slightly sweet flavor that can add a subtle onion taste to this salad without overpowering the other ingredients. They also add a satisfying crunch!
- Herbs – You’ll need both fresh mint and fresh parsley to make this recipe.
- Pistachios – A handful of crushed pistachios add a delicious nutty flavor and crunchy texture to our salad.
- Feta Cheese – Feta cheese is a tangy, crumbly cheese that pairs well with fresh vegetables and herbs, and it adds a creamy texture and saltiness to this recipe.
- Dressing – A simple lemon vinaigrette, made with lemon juice, olive oil, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper.
How to Make Jennifer Aniston Salad
The Jennifer Aniston Salad is super easy to make, and it doesn’t require any advanced culinary skills. The most time-consuming part of the recipe is cooking the bulgur wheat, but this is a simple process that involves boiling the wheat in water for about 10-15 minutes until it’s tender. After that, it’s just a matter of chopping up the vegetables and herbs and mixing everything together with the dressing.
The salad can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve it. This makes it a great option for busy weeknights or for taking to work for lunch.
Overall, the Jennifer Aniston Salad is a healthy, tasty, and easy-to-make dish that’s perfect for anyone looking for a quick and healthy meal option.
Recommended tools and equipment: cutting board, chef’s knife, large bowl, salad tossers.
Here’s how I make this Jennifer Aniston salad recipe. As always, you will find the printable (and more complete) version of the recipe at the end of this post!
Step 1: Cook the Bulgur Wheat
- Cook the bulgur wheat according to package instructions. Once cooked, fluff the bulgur wheat with a fork and let it cool to room temperature.
Step 2: Combine the Salad Ingredients.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the bulgur, chickpeas, chopped cucumber, red onion, parsley, mint, pistachios and feta.
Step 3: Make the dressing
- In a small jar, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, salt, and pepper. Shake well to emulsify.
Step 4: Dress the salad!
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.
- Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed!
- Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld together.
- Choose fresh, high-quality ingredients and – especially – a good olive oil!
- Don’t overcook the bulgur wheat! Bulgur wheat cooks quickly, so be sure to check it frequently while it’s cooking. Overcooked bulgur can become mushy and lose its texture.
- Some of the online versions of this salad use quinoa instead of bulgur wheat. While I prefer it with bulgur, you can use either!
- Add protein (such as grilled chicken or shrimp) to make this salad a complete meal.
The Jennifer Aniston Salad can be served as a side dish or a main course. I personally find it makes a great, satisfying lunch, especially since it can be prepped ahead (more on that down below!).
This salad also pairs well with grilled chicken or fish, and goes great as a side dish for pasta or sandwiches.
Jennifer Aniston Salad Variations
There are many variations of the Jennifer Aniston Salad, and you can customize the ingredients to suit your taste preferences and dietary restrictions. Here are some common variations:
- Add grilled chicken or shrimp for a boost in protein!
- Add kalamata olives and change the lemon juice to red wine vinegar to give it a Greek-inspired twist.
- Make it vegan: Omit the feta cheese and Dijon mustard.
- Make it gluten-free: Omit the bulgur wheat and use a gluten-free grain, such as quinoa or rice.
- Make it low-carb: Omit the bulgur wheat and use a low-carb alternative, such as cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles.
- Make it paleo: Omit the bulgur wheat and use a paleo-friendly grain, such as cauliflower rice or sweet potato.
These are just a few examples of the many variations you can make to the Jennifer Aniston Salad. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ingredients and flavors to create your own unique version of this salad.
Frequently Asked Questions
This Jennifer Aniston salad recipe is not vegan, as it calls for feta cheese and Dijon mustard. However, these ingredients can be easily omitted or substituted to make this a vegan salad!
Yes, you can substitute other grains like quinoa, couscous, or farro for bulgur wheat if you prefer.
Yes, you can add other vegetables or ingredients to the salad, such as tomatoes, carrots, or avocado, to customize it to your liking.
Make-Ahead and Storing Instructions
This salad is a great option for meal-prepping because it doesn’t get soggy in the fridge. That being said, the pistachios tend to lose their crunchiness after a few days. If that bothers you, you can omit them when making the salad and add them right before serving.
The Jennifer Aniston Salad will keep, stored in an airtight container in the fridge, for up to 4 days!
More Salad Recipes
- Hearts of Palm Salad
- Thai Cucumber Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing
- Spelt Salad with Navy Beans, Cherry Tomatoes and Cucumber
- Classic Potato Salad
Did you make this recipe? I love hearing from you! Please comment and leave a 5-star rating below. You can also take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #oliviascuisine.
The Jennifer Aniston Salad Recipe
- 1 cup raw bulgur wheat, rinsed and drained
- 1 (14oz/397g) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2-3 small Persian cucumbers (or other salad cucumbers), diced
- ½ small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
- ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- ½ cup fresh mint, chopped
- ½ cup shelled, roasted pistachios, roughly chopped
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- Juice of ½ a lemon
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Cook the bulgur wheat according to package instructions. Once done, fluff with a fork and let it cool to room temperature.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooled bulgur, chickpeas, red onion, cucumber and herbs, pistachios and feta cheese.
- Make the dressing by combining all the ingredients in a mason jar. Screw the lid onto the jar tightly. Shake the jar vigorously for about 30 seconds, or until all the ingredients are well combined. Open the jar and taste the vinaigrette. Adjust the seasonings to your liking, adding more salt and pepper as needed.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to combine.
- Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Then, refrigerate for at least 1 hour for the flavors to meld.
- Serve the salad cold or at room temperature!