Paleo Version of “The Jennifer Aniston Salad”

Maybe you have heard? The latest recipe to try is the Jennifer Aniston Salad or the Friend’s Salad? Apparently, Jennifer ate this salad everyday she was on the set of Friends and bloggers everywhere are posting the recipe. For the most part the recipes are similar with minor changes.

I was fascinated to look it up because the review from my work neighbor and massage therapist said it was 1. Easy 2. Delicious. That ticks my boxes.

For me, I feel better without grains, dairy, pistachios and legumes. It doesn’t mean I don’t eat them from time to time but one thing I try to do: if I’m going to have something daily, I want it to be the best for me that it can be.

The original salad contains bulgar wheat (or quinoa), pistachios and chickpeas. So I made some changes and I’m pretty happy with the result. The original calls for feta. I thought maybe olives would be a nice salty, briny substitute but I haven’t tried it that way…yet.

Yes, my title includes Paleo and while pistachios are Paleo, they also can contain mold and be trouble for sensitive individuals. If you know me, you know I’m sensitive and I don’t miss pistachios so they are easy to avoid.

My goal was to cut everything into uniform cubes. So when I call for “small cubes”, try to create the same size cube for each ingredient. Except for the shallot! Yikes that could be strong!

I’m not a chef and I don’t have great knife skills and I made it work. Each bite of this salad is uniform and contributes to the taste of this salad.


  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 cucumber, chopped into small cubes
  • handful parsley, chopped
  • handful mint, chopped
  • 1 small/medium shallot chopped
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds (roasted or raw)
  • 1-2 cups small cubes chicken
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Molly’s Salt to taste
  • ground pepper, to taste


  • roast sweet potato for 30 minutes (at 350 degrees), still crunchy not soft
  • cut sweet potato into very small cubes
  • in a medium bowl, whisk: salt, pepper, shallot, lemon juice and olive oil
  • add and stir together sweet potato, cucumber, parsley, mint, sunflower seeds, chicken.
  • Serve immediately or let the salad chill in the fridge a couple hours before serving.
  • Store salad in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge.