I created a gluten-free version of the viral Jennifer Aniston Perfect Salad Recipe, and it's so good I can't stop making it! I think you'll be obsessed, too. This is a flavorful vegan salad with quinoa, cucumber, red onion, pistachios, chickpeas, vegan feta, and a super simple homemade dressing. It's the Ross and Rachel of salads...the perfect match!
Have you heard the hype surrounding the Jennifer Aniston Perfect Salad recipe? As soon as I looked at the ingredients I knew I could make it my own! I originally saw a version of the recipe in this PopSugar article, which is filled with amazing nutrition and a delicious combo of flavors. The main swap I made was quinoa instead of bulgur wheat, which makes this a gluten-free Jennifer Aniston "Perfect Salad" Recipe! I've made this salad so many times since I first tried it, and that first bite blows my mind every single time. Plus, I get to pretend I'm sitting down to catch up with my BFF Jen after a yoga class when I make it! It's the little things, right? 😉
Jennifer Aniston Perfect Salad Ingredients
At first glance none of these ingredients on their own stand out as being unique, but combining them all into one perfect bowl makes for some serious salad magic!
- Quinoa - This is where my version is a bit different! Jen's salad is made with bulgur wheat, which I omitted since I don't eat gluten. Instead, I used nutrient-rich quinoa!
- Cucumber - I think all of my favorite salads have some kind of cucumber!
- Herbs - Fresh parsley (I like Italian flat leaf) and mint provide bright, natural flavor that makes every bite pop.
- Chickpeas - Also called garbanzo beans, chickpeas are one of my Pantry Staples That Do It All. They make this salad super satisfying.
- Pistachios - You need a bit of salty nutty crunch in any perfect salad, so it's no surprise that this one has pistachios. I also love the color from these!
- Red onion - One of my favorite ways to add bright flavor that complements every other taste in this dish. I used half of a red onion, finely diced.
- Vegan feta - I LOVE VioLife feta and use it in so many salads! The Trader Joe's brand vegan feta is also great. I actually didn't have feta on hand a few different times that I made this salad and it still turned out amazing, though!
Homemade Lemon Garlic Salad Dressing
I love a homemade salad dressing! A squeeze of lemon, finely minced garlic, extra virgin olive oil, and pure maple syrup add the perfect, tangy topping to this bowl of veggies and plant-based protein. You can use any salad dressing you like, but I really love this simple and flavorful homemade one to top the Jennifer Aniston Perfect Salad!
All About Chickpeas
Chickpeas (or garbanzo beans) are one of my cannot-live-without pantry staples. I probably eat a can every single day...which might sound like an exaggeration, but it's true! Plant-based protein is so important for vegans, and chickpeas are also an excellent source of folic acid, they do not contain any cholesterol, and they even offer complex carbs. They also have fiber to keep you full longer and aid in digestion! As a Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES, via NCHEC), I'm passionate about knowing why we're fueling ourselves with certain foods. Chickpeas are one of those ingredients that pass the test with flying colors--they're doing amazing things in our bodies!
Vegan Salad with Quinoa
Another one of my Pantry Staples That Do It All is quinoa! You can make Perfectly Cooked Quinoa in the Instant Pot in just a few minutes (or on the stovetop!), and it's an incredible and affordable way to make a satisfying meal. Quinoa is light, absorbs flavor wonderfully, adds texture to salads, and offers amazing health benefits. It is loaded with fiber (one serving has over five grams) and is considered a complete protein with all eight essential amino acids. This makes it a great source of plant-based protein for vegans (quinoa actually has more protein than any other grain!). Quinoa is a good source of folate, magnesium, iron, phosphorus and many phytochemicals. It also offers important minerals such as calcium, potassium, copper and zinc.
My version of the Jennifer Aniston Viral TikTok "Perfect Salad" is vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free. It's a really delicious lunchtime salad...but it's hearty enough to enjoy for dinner, too! This is a great salad to store in a Mason jar if you're taking it on the go or meal prepping. Just wait to add the dressing until you're ready to eat! I hope you'll tag me on Instagram if you make it, and leave a review below so I can hear how you liked it.
More Vegan Salad Recipes
- Vegan Protein Kale Salad (nut-free + gluten-free)
- Simple Side Salad Recipe
- Maple Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Quinoa Salad
- Spinach Quinoa Salad with Roasted Blueberry Vinaigrette
- Vegan Apple Arugula Salad with Candied Walnuts, Dates and Feta
- Simple Greek Village Salad (Horiatiki: Tomato Cucumber Salad)
- Crispy Quinoa and Avocado Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette
- Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad with Candied Pecans, Green Apples and Pomegranates
- Plant Powered Fall Quinoa and Arugula Salad with Apples and Figs
- Pear and Roasted Beet Arugula Salad with Hazelnuts
- Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad
@eatingbyelaine The famous Jennifer Aniston salad but make it vegan and gluten-free #jenniferaniston #viralsalad #quinoasalad #crunchysalad ♬ original sound - eatingbyelaine
I created a gluten-free version of the viral Jennifer Aniston Perfect Salad Recipe, and it's so good I can't stop making it!
- 3 cups cooked quinoa (from 1 cup of uncooked quinoa) [Stovetop Method or Instant Pot Method]
- 1 English cucumber, diced (~ 2 cups when finely diced)
- ½ cup fresh parsley leaves, stems removed, finely diced
- ¼ cup fresh mint, stems removed, finely diced
- 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup roasted and salted pistachios (shelled), roughly chopped
- ½ large red onion, finely diced (½ cup diced)
- ½ cup vegan feta cheese, crumbled (I like VioLife or Trader Joe's brand best)
Lemon Garlic Dressing
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large juicy lemon, juiced
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1 large garlic clove, pressed through a garlic press
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Cook the quinoa with water using my stovetop or Instant Pot method. 1 cup of uncooked quinoa makes about 3 cups of cooked quinoa. Allow the quinoa to cool to room temperature before assembling the salad.
- To assemble the salad, place room temperature cooked quinoa in a large mixing bowl. Add the diced cucumber, finely diced parsley and mint, chickpeas, pistachios, diced red onion, crumbled vegan feta cheese and cranberries if using.
- Whisk together the lemon garlic dressing ingredients or place them in a small jar and shake well to combine. Pour overtop the salad and toss everything well so all ingredients and the dressing are distributed evenly. Enjoy immediately or portion into airtight storage containers or mason jars and enjoy within 4 days (after that look for normal signs of spoilage). This recipe makes about four large portions. Enjoy chilled or at room temperature.
- Prep Time: 15
- Category: Lunch
Keywords: jennifer aniston perfect salad