This classic Watergate Salad is a fresh blast from the past with crushed pineapple, pistachio pudding, pistachio nuts, mini marshmallows, and fresh whipped cream. This unique yet delicious salad is always a hit at potlucks, family reunions, holidays, and parties.
How to make Watergate Salad
The original salad recipe was made with non dairy whipped topping like Cool Whip. I honestly prefer fresh whipped cream with this so start by chilling a large bowl and beaters. Then add the whipped cream and powdered sugar to the bowl. Next whisk on high until medium to stiff peaks form. Now combine the dry pudding mix with the crushed pineapple. Stir in the pistachio nuts and mini marshmallows. Then fold in the whipped cream. Finally cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. If desired garnish with more chopped pistachios and maraschino cherries.
What is Watergate Salad?
It is a retro pistachio fluff salad recipe from 1975 made with crushed pineapple, pistachio pudding mix, pistachio nuts, mini marshmallows and whipped cream. It is the perfect spring and summer side or dessert. It comes together in less than 5 minutes and is so delicious that it is always one of the first dishes to go.
Why is it called Watergate Salad?
This dish was very popular in the mid 70’s during the watergate scandal. This coupled with the fact that there was a Watergate cake recipe that came out the year prior with a green lime hue, pistachio pudding in the mix and sometimes in the icing. Jell-O originally called the dessert pineapple pistachio delight however it was not long before the general public was referring to it as Watergate Salad.
Recipe notes and helpful tips
- Use canned crushed pineapple in 100% pineapple juice. It is the juice that combines with the dry pudding mix to make the pudding. The pineapple packed in heavy syrup is too thick.
- You can substitute walnuts or pecans for the pistachios. However my first choice is always pistachio nuts.
- In a pinch an 8 ounce container of cool whip can be substituted for the whipped cream. I just think the fresh whipped cream tastes better.
- For a change of pace add 1/2 cup shredded coconut.
- Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
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This fun and easy retro Watergate Salad is a pineapple pistachio fluff combination that comes together in less than five minutes. It is always a huge hit at potlucks, family reunions and parties and it is always one of the first dishes gone.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes plus chilling time
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
- Category: sides, dessert
- Method: bowl and spoon
- Cuisine: American
- 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 (3.4 ounce) box instant pistachio pudding mix
- 1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple
- 1/2 cup chopped pistachio nuts (plus more for garnish)
- 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
- maraschino cherries (for garnish)
- Chill bowl and beaters for whipping cream. Add the whipped cream and powdered sugar to the bowl. Beat on high until medium to stiff peaks form. Set aside.
- In a large bowl stir together the dry pudding mix with the crushed pineapple. Stir in the pistachio nuts and mini marshmallows. Fold in 2 cups whipped cream. Finally cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Garnish with the extra whipped cream, chopped pistachio nuts, and maraschino cherries.
Keywords: pistachio delight, green goop, pistachio salad, pistachio fluff, pistachio pudding recipe