Jennifer Aniston is an actress that has made us laugh, smile, and inspired us to eat healthier. According to her castmate, Courtney Cox, this refreshing quinoa salad was inspired by a salad she ate almost every day for 10 years while on the ‘Friends’ sitcom.
This is another recipe that my youngest daughter found on Tik Tok. I don’t think it’s the same recipe as the one that Jennifer Aniston ate, as I believe the one she ate used bulgar instead of quinoa. Nonetheless, this is a fabulous salad to eat alone as a light lunch or serve as a spring/summer side dish.
Jennifer Aniston Quinoa Salad Ingredients
Here is a list of ingredients that will be needed to make this quinoa salad that was inspired by Jennifer Aniston’s famous salad. While the list might look long, the only thing that you need to cook is the quinoa. The remaining ingredients need to be chopped, diced, dumped out, or measured – super quick and easy!
- Tricolor or regular quinoa – substitute with bulgar
- Garbanzo beans, drained – 1- 15.5 oz. can
- Red onion, diced – substitute with sweet onion
- Slivered almonds – substitute with pumpkin seeds or pistachios
- Lightly or salted Pistachios, chopped – If only one nut is used, use all pistachios
- Cucumber, seeded and diced (optional to peel) – Use regular 8″ – 8.5″ cucumber
- Cilantro, chopped – substitute with Italian parsley
- Feta, crumbled
- Lemon, squeezed – About 2 large lemons or 3 small lemons
- Extra virgin olive oil
How to Make Refreshing Quinoa Salad
Step 1. Cook quinoa according to the package directions. Set it aside and let it cool. This will ensure it doesn’t wilt the cilantro and prevents condensation when stored in the fridge.
Step 2. While the quinoa is cooling, prepare the other salad ingredients. Dice the red onions and cucumbers, chop the cilantro and pistachios (if not chopped), squeeze the lemon, and open the can of garbanzo beans. Set these aside.
Step 3. Add the cooled quinoa (can be slightly warm), olive oil, and lemon juice to a large bowl. Add in all the remaining ingredients, except for the salt and pepper. Toss till well combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper to your liking. Note: If making ahead and storing, the quinoa should be completely cooled to prevent condensation. In addition, lemon juice and cilantro can be added just before serving to keep the ‘fresh’ flavor.
Step 4. Serve immediately as a side dish or eat as a light meal. This should make 3-4 light meals or serve 6-8 people as a side dish.
What to Serve with Quinoa Salad?
This quinoa salad is a great light meal or a side dish. It pairs well with fried or grilled chicken, steak, grilled pork, and so much more. It’s also a great dish for vegetarian meals.
How Long Can This Keep & Store?
This quinoa salad can be made ahead and kept in an airtight container in the fridge. It can keep up to 4 days, but is best when eaten within 3 days. Note: the quinoa can get a bit softer when kept longer. To help prevent the quinoa from getting soft, add the lemon to your taste just before serving.
- 1/2 c. tricolor or regular quinoa, cooked
- 1 1/3 c. cucumber (about 8.5" cucumber), seeded and diced (optional to peel)
- 1/3 c. red onion, diced
- 3-4 T. cilantro, chopped
- 1 - 15.5 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained
- 1/4 c. lemon juice, fresh squeezed
- 2 T. olive oil
- 1/4 c. salted pistachios, chopped - See notes
- 1/4 c. almonds, slivers or salted pumpkin seeds - See notes
- 2/3 c. feta, crumbled
- 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. pepper
- Cook 1/2 cup of quinoa to the box/bag instructions. Set aside to cool.
- While the quinoa is cooling, prepare the other salad ingredients. Dice the red onions and cucumbers, chop the cilantro and pistachios (if not chopped), squeeze the lemon, and open the can of garbanzo beans. Set these aside.
- Add the cooled quinoa (can be slightly warm), olive oil, and lemon juice to a large bowl. Add in all the remaining ingredients, except for the salt and pepper. Toss till well combined. Taste and add salt and pepper to your liking. Tip: If making ahead and storing, the quinoa should be completely cooled to prevent condensation.
- Serve immediately as a side dish or eat as a light meal. See notes.
- Salad can be kept for up to 4 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
- If making ahead and storing, lemon juice and cilantro can be added just before serving to keep the freshest flavor. It also helps the quinoa from getting soft.
- A combination of nuts can be used to equal 1/2 cup. I sometimes mix 1/4 c. of pistachios and 1/4 c. of pumpkin seeds. Unsalted nuts can be used, just add in and adjust the salt to taste.
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