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Jennifer Aniston’s Salad

by Dana Bean, RD
Published: Updated:

How to make this tangy and refreshing chopped dish, find out whether or not this is Jennifer Aniston’s actual salad, and the danger of comparing what we eat to others. All of your questions answered here after the recipe!

Jennifer Aniston’s Salad

A refreshing salad with fluffy grains, flavorful herbs, crunchy veggies and a tangy dressing
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Course: dinner, lunch, Side Dish
Keyword: salad

Equipment

  • 1 small pot
  • 1 large bowl

Ingredients

  • 1 cup bulgur or white quinoa
  • 1/3 medium red onion chopped
  • 1 cucumber chopped (see note 1)
  • 1/2 cup mint chopped
  • 1/2 cup parsley chopped
  • 15 oz can chickpeas drained, rinsed and dried (see note 2)
  • 1/2 cup salted pistachios shelled and chopped
  • 1 cup feta crumbled
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice + 2 Tbsp if desired see note 3
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Boil 2 cups of water in a small pot and add bulgur or quinoa. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes until grain has absorbed all of the moisture. When done cooking, remove from pot and place in a shallow pan or plate to cool while assembling the rest of the salad.
  • In a large bowl add red onion, cucumber, mint, parsley, garbanzo beans, pistachios, and feta.
  • In a jar or liquid measuring cup, mix olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  • Add cooked bulgur or quinoa, add dressing, and mix well. Add extra pistachios and/or feta to the top if desired and enjoy!

Notes

  1. English cucumber works best, but you can use any type
  2. Chickpeas and garbanzo beans are the same thing and often they are labeled garbanzo beans in the grocery store!
  3. I personally like adding a bit more lemon to increase the tanginess. If you love lemon flavor, add the extra 2 Tbsp! 
Jennifer Aniston's Salad in a wooden bowl with lemon and parsley.

It’s a yummy, tangy chopped salad with grains, vegetables, herbs, and some crunch! It’s also a great recipe for lunch meal prep, as it keeps well for 2-3 days in the fridge.

Bulgur (or white quinoa): Our fluffy grain is the base here. Both bulgur and quinoa cook similarly and add a similar texture to the dish, so it’s really up to preference or what you have on hand!

Chopped Vegetables: The cucumber and onion add some of the crunch to the salad

Herbs: I consider the mint and parsley to be essential and add the refreshing flavors. Chop well!

Chickpeas: They add some protein since they are a more neutral bean, blend in well with the other strong flavors.

Feta Cheese: Crumbly feta goes perfect on this dish!

Pistachios: Chop them well and the salty, crunchy texture adds a unique quality to the salad

Dressing: We can’t go wrong with olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper to really pull together the grounded tanginess

No! The funny thing about Jennifer Aniston’s salad is that it’s not actually the one she ate everyday on the set of Friends, like it’s been claimed. She hadn’t even heard of her own salad before it went viral!

Jennifer Aniston's Salad close up in wooden bowl with lemon and parsley

In this video from Allure, she mentions the salad she remembers eating while filming Friends. This one had totally different ingredients than the bulgur chopped salad. Jennifer mentions it had:

  • Iceburg lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • Salami
  • Turkey bacon
  • Chicken
  • Pecorino Cheese
  • Italian dressing

That’s right! The bulgur, chickpea, feta delicious-ness is my choice. But I’m not a huge fan of turkey bacon and essential carbs are really lacking in Jennifer Aniston’s actual salad.

While it can be fun to get inspired by new celebrity recipes (like this Gigi Hadid Pasta), it can be dangerous when we’re trying to achieve a certain physical outcome by eating a food that someone else does.

When put on the spot, most people under report what they’re normally eating. And even if someone is eating the way they report, it’s far from meaning it’s automatically a good example of what is normal, or that you should be eating the same way.

Remember: If we all ate the same and worked out the same, we would all still look different!

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