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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.
WATERGATE SALAD INGREDIENTS
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.
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 tea, raspberry iced tea, sweet peach iced tea, or our southern strawberry sweet tea on the side.
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
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.
This simple recipe can be frozen but note that the texture of the marshmallows will likely change once thawed.
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.
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
- Easy Ice Cream Cake
- No Bake Cookies
- Chocolate Lasagna
- Peanut Butter Pie
- No Bake Eclair Cake
- Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies
- 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
- 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.