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, its unique texture 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. Don’t forget to top them all off with delicious Homemade Whipped Cream.
INGREDIENTS FOR WATERGATE SALAD
You will need:
- 2 boxes of pistachio pudding mix
- 1 large can of crushed pineapple
- 12 ounces of whipped topping
- ½ chopped pecans
- 1 ½ cup of white mini marshmallows
- Chopped pecans and maraschino cherries for garnish
- OPTIONAL: 1 cup shredded coconut if desired
INGREDIENT SUBSTITUTIONS FOR WATERGATE SALAD
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 our recipe, you could opt for a different type of nut. Walnuts are a popular substitute, and almonds go great with pretty much anything.
History behind this recipe
Watergate Salad, also known as Green Fluff and Pistachio Pineapple Delight, is a light and fruity dessert salad, though it’s name is a little more curious.
While there is no clear answer to where the name originated, there are few fun theories. Some say it’s as simple as the idea that pistachio was Nixon’s favorite flavor. Others say the salad became a regular menu item at the Watergate hotel and got its name from there.
However, one of the most common explanations is that the Pistachio Pineapple Delight was the original name and got renamed by a newspaper around the time of the Watergate investigation because the ingredients are “covered up” by whipped cream.
HOW TO MAKE WATERGATE SALAD
STEP ONE: In a large bowl, mix pineapple and pudding mix until the mix has completely dissolved and the pineapple is thick.
PRO TIP: You can use the juice from the pineapple to dissolve the pudding mix.
STEP TWO: Stir in the other ingredients, then fold in the whipped topping.
STEP THREE: Transfer to a serving bowl and top with chopped pistachios and cherries.
Prep & Storing Tips
You can most definitely make Watergate Salad 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.
Be sure to store your salad in the fridge in an airtight container. It will stay good in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Freezing this Dessert
You can freeze Watergate 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
Watergate 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 light and refreshing dessert salad is a great summer side.
more easy desserts 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 oz 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.