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Jennifer Aniston Salad | Simply Quinoa

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Inspired by a Cobb salad but WAY better, the Jennifer Aniston salad is filling, fresh, and flavorful, making it perfect for weekday lunches!

No, this is not THAT Jennifer Aniston salad. The viral recipe with fresh herbs, bulgur, pistachios, and chickpeas actually isn’t the salad Jennifer Aniston ate on the set of Friends every day. THIS recipe is the real Jennifer Aniston salad!
During the filming of Friends, Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, and Lisa Kudrow all ate the same Cobb salad with chickpeas and turkey bacon for lunch on a daily basis. There’s really no official “recipe” for it, just a description of ingredients from both Jennifer Aniston and Courtney Cox, so I’ve developed this Jennifer Aniston salad recipe based on that.
Why You’ll Love This Jennifer Aniston Salad Recipe

Salad, but make it satisfying. This is not a salad that will leave you hungry in a few hours! With chicken, crispy chickpeas, salami, and turkey bacon, it’s absolutely packed with protein.
Lots of big flavors. You know how so many Hollywood stars give magazine interviews talking about how they eat plain salmon and chicken breasts with steamed veggies to get in shape? The Jennifer Aniston salad proves you can eat like a celebrity and still have something delicious!
Easy to customize. While this salad is great as written, it’s also easy to customize based on your personal preferences or dietary restrictions.

What You’ll Need
Scroll down to the recipe card to find the ingredient quantities and recipe instructions.
Roasted Chicken Breast:

Boneless, skinless chicken breast – You can use chicken thighs if you prefer them.
Olive oil 
Italian seasoning – A great way to add lots of flavors without opening a lot of jars!
Salt and ground black pepper

Toasted Chickpeas:

Chickpeas – Drain and rinse them.
Olive oil 
Italian seasoning
Salt and ground black pepper

Italian Dressing:

Olive oil – A good, fruity extra-virgin olive oil would be fabulous.
White wine vinegar – Red wine vinegar also works if that’s what you have on hand.
Lemon juice – Use fresh-squeezed for the best flavor.
Garlic – It’s a lot of garlic! But don’t worry, the acid from the vinegar and lemon juice will mellow it out.
Herbs – Fresh parsley, then dried basil and oregano too.

Salad:

Iceberg lettuce – Not an iceberg fan? Romaine would be great.
Roma tomato – Or halved cherry or grape tomatoes. 
Salami – Chop the salami so it fits easily onto a fork.
Turkey bacon – Cook this before assembling the salad.
Pecorino Romano cheese – Or use Parmesan.

How to Make the Jennifer Aniston Salad 

Season the chicken. Rub the chicken breast with olive oil and add the seasonings. Set the chicken on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Prepare the chickpeas. Pat them dry, then toss them with the oil and seasonings. Spread them on a second parchment-lined baking sheet.
Roast. Place the chicken and chickpeas in a 400ºF oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the chicken temperature reaches 165°F on a meat thermometer and the chickpeas are crispy. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes, then slice.

Make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients.
Assemble. In a large salad bowl, combine the chopped lettuce, diced tomato, salami, turkey bacon, sliced chicken breast, and toasted chickpeas. 
Dress the salad. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and gently toss to coat.
Serve. Finish with grated Pecorino cheese.  

Tips for Success

Use a meat thermometer. It’s very easy to over-cook chicken breast, so invest in a meat thermometer to ensure your chicken is perfectly cooked and juicy—never dry and rubbery.
Dry the chickpeas well. If they’re wet when you add the oil and roast them, they won’t bake up crispy.
Add the dressing just before serving. Making the Jennifer Aniston salad for a party or meal prep lunches? Hold off on adding the dressing until you’re ready to serve.

Variations

Make it vegan. There’s a lot of meat and some dairy in this recipe, but you can totally do a vegan Jennifer Aniston salad by using plant-based bacon and salami, vegan cheese, and balsamic grilled tofu instead of chicken.
Change up the protein. While this recipe calls for roasted chicken breast, you can also use grilled shrimp or salmon, or even leftover rotisserie chicken if you’re short on time.
Add some grains. If you want to make this salad even more filling, you can add a grain like quinoa or farro.

Meal Prep Tip
Store the roasted chicken, toasted chickpeas, and dressing separately from the other salad ingredients and refrigerate for 2-3 days. Assemble everything when you’re ready to eat for maximum freshness and flavor.
How to Store Leftovers
If you’ve already dressed this Jennifer Aniston salad and you’ve got leftovers, they’ll keep in the fridge for about a day. Give them a good toss to redistribute the dressing before enjoying.

More Satisfying Salad Recipes

Prep: 20 minutes minutesCook: 30 minutes minutesTotal: 50 minutes minutes

For the roasted chicken breast:For the toasted chickpeas:For the Italian dressing:To assemble the salad:3-4 cups chopped iceberg lettuce1 Roma tomatoes diced8 pieces chopped salami5 strips turkey bacon cooked to crispy and chopped¼ cup finely grated pecorino Romano cheese
For the chicken:Preheat the oven to 400°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper (one will be for the chickpeas).Rub the chicken breast with olive oil and season with Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Place the seasoned chicken on one of the prepared baking sheets.Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 165°F.Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Set aside.For the toasted chickpeas (toast the chickpeas while you roast the chicken):Drain the canned chickpeas, rinse, and pat them dry.Toss the chickpeas with olive oil, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet.Roast the chickpeas for 25 minutes or until crispy and golden brown. Give the chickpeas a stir halfway through the baking time. Remove from the oven and set aside.To make the dressing (make the dressing while the chicken and chickpeas are in the oven):In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, white wine vinegar, lemon juice, minced garlic, chopped parsley, dried basil, and dried oregano until well combined. Set aside.To assemble the salad:In a large salad bowl, combine the chopped iceberg lettuce, diced Roma tomato, chopped salami, chopped turkey bacon, sliced roasted chicken breast, and toasted chickpeas.Drizzle the Italian dressing over the salad and toss gently to coat all the ingredients evenly.Serve garnished with grated Pecorino cheese.
Calories: 938kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 79g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 51g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 1732mg | Potassium: 1148mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 2486IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 277mg | Iron: 6mg

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