Today: Get My No Fail, Easy Cookbook Series for 60% OFF
Buy Now

Watergate Salad

A bowl of food on a plate, with Watergate salad
Light and refreshing, this pistachio flavored Watergate Salad is the perfect easy summer treat!
Jump to Recipe
Table of Contents
  1. WATERGATE SALAD INGREDIENTS
  2. HOW TO MAKE THIS WATERGATE SALAD RECIPE
  3. HOW TO SERVE
  4. STORAGE
  5. FAQ
  6. MORE EASY DESSERT RECIPES YOU'LL LOVE
  7. JUMP TO RECIPE

Watergate salad is an easy dessert created by mixing together a packet of pistachio flavored Jell-O, crushed pineapple and mini marshmallows. Folded in with creamy whipped topping and finally, topped off with crunchy pecans, the unique texture of this refreshing salad makes it a favorite vintage delight.

Here are some other fun ideas for the perfect summer desserts. Both Jello Poke Cake and No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake are easy to make and create a light and fruity treat. We love a good fluff salad around here. Check out our favorite recipes including Ambrosia Salad and Orange Fluff for more yummy sweet salad recipes. Don’t forget to top them all off with delicious Homemade Whipped Cream.

A plate of food with a birthday cake, with Salad and Pineapple

MORE PUDDING RECIPES
Banana Pudding | Chocolate Pudding Pie


WATERGATE SALAD INGREDIENTS

A plate of food, with Salad and Pineapple

You will need:

  • 2 boxes of instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 1 large can of crushed pineapple
  • 12 ounces of Cool Whip
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • 1½ cup of white mini marshmallows
  • Chopped pecans and maraschino cherries for garnish
  • OPTIONAL: 1 cup shredded coconut if desired

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

SHREDDED COCONUT: The shredded coconut on top is completely optional. It offers a nice crunch and the flavor compliments the pineapple and pistachio wonderfully. If you are a coconut fan, you’ve got to try adding it.

NUTS: While we are using pecans in this classic recipe, you could opt for a different type of nut. Walnuts are a popular substitute, and almonds go great with pretty much anything.

FRUIT: You can add other canned fruit to the pistachio salad if you’d like. Try mandarin oranges or fruit salad.

CREAM CHEESE: For a thicker dressing, you could mix in cream cheese with the cool whip.

HOW TO MAKE THIS WATERGATE SALAD RECIPE

STEP ONE: In a large bowl, mix pineapple and dry pudding mix until the mix has completely dissolved and the pineapple is thick.

PRO TIP: You can use the pineapple juice to dissolve the pudding mix.

Many different types of food on a plate, with Watergate salad

STEP TWO: Stir in the other ingredients, then fold in the whipped topping.

PRO TIP: If using shredded coconut, add in when combining pecans and mini marshmallows.

STEP THREE: Transfer to a serving bowl and top with chopped pistachios and cherries.

PRO TIP: This simple salad tastes even better if you can let it chill for a couple hours before serving.

HOW TO SERVE

This classic dessert salad is perfect for a side dish or as a dessert. It is a tasty treat to whip up for family gatherings or special occasions. Serve our refreshing iced tearaspberry iced teasweet peach iced tea, or our southern strawberry sweet tea on the side.

STORAGE

MAKE AHEAD: You can most definitely make this easy Watergate Salad recipe ahead of time. In fact, I recommend making it the night before you plan to serve it. That way it can sit in the refrigerator and the flavors can blend together. It also allows the marshmallows to soften up a bit.

IN THE FRIDGE: Be sure to store your pistachio dessert salad in the fridge in an airtight container. It will stay good in the fridge for 2-3 days.

IN THE FREEZER: You can freeze pistachio fluff salad and it will keep for about 3 months. Be aware that the texture of the marshmallows won’t be the same once they’ve thawed out. Since this is such an easy recipe to make, it’s best to make it fresh.

Another fun idea is to use your leftover salad to make Watergate popsicles, using a popsicle mold. You can also spread it in a baking dish and scoop it up like ice cream, once it freezes for a yummy twist

A piece of cake on a table

Creamy Watergate Salad often called pistachio pineapple delight or green goddess salad is so delicious and easy to make. With its pistachio and pineapple flavors, mixed with creamy whipped topping, and topped off with crunchy pecans, this retro dessert is a winner every time. This light and refreshing dessert salad is a great summer side.

FAQ

Can I freeze this salad?

This simple recipe can be frozen but note that the texture of the marshmallows will likely change once thawed.

Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

It is actually best to make this vintage recipe ahead of time. It gives the salad time to let all the flavors mingle and combine together for an even tastier green fluff salad.

Why is it called Watergate Salad?

Before this salad was created, there was a cake named Watergate Cake which also was made with pistachio pudding and had a similar green hue. It is unknown the exact origin of the name. Some say that a chef at the Watergate Hotel invented it while others say it a newspaper columnist printed it with that name to gain the attention for the recipe during the presidential scandal. No matter how the name came to be, we love how easy and delicious this salad is!

MORE EASY DESSERT RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE

Get a Free Cookbook
Subscribe now to receive our FREE Sweet & Treats digital cookbook with 15 amazing desserts inside!
A bowl of food on a plate, with Watergate salad

Watergate Salad

5 from 3 votes
Light and refreshing, this pistachio flavored Watergate Salad is the perfect easy summer treat!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 2 boxes pistachio pudding mix
  • 1 large can crushed pineapple
  • 12 ounces whipped topping
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 1/2 cup white mini marshmallows
  • chopped pecans and maraschino cherries for garnish
  • 1 cup shredded coconut if desired

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl, combine the pudding mix and pineapple until mix has completely dissolved  and pineapple mixture has thickened.
  • Stir in chopped pecans and mini marshmallows, then fold in whipped topping. 
  • Transfer to serving bowl or glass and top with chopped pistachios and cherries.

Video

Notes

TIP: If using shredded coconut, add in when combining pecans and mini marshmallows.
TIP: You can use the juice from the pineapple to dissolve the pudding mix.
TIP: This simple salad tastes even better if you can let it chill for a couple of hours before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 216kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 42mg | Potassium: 159mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 67IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 1mg
Have You Tried This Recipe?Follow me on Pinterest @spaceshipslb

Proudly Prepared by the Spaceships Kitchen

You May Also Like

Reader Interactions

Comments

    Leave a Comment

    Recipe Rating




    Comments

  1. Nan says

    This has been a guarantee salad/dessert at house for years. I sometimes add a small can of drained mandrin oranges.

16108

Free Membership!

Get all our new recipes straight to

your inbox plus a BONUS

download in your first email! ❤