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Watergate Salad is an easy dessert salad recipe made with pistachio pudding, pineapple, marshmallows, and cool whip. It’s a heavenly retro dessert!
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Easy Watergate Salad Recipe
If you need an easy last minute dessert or side dish for the weekend, this is the one you should make! I mean it’s a fluff SALAD and it’s green which makes it healthy! (HA)
This retro dessert will bring back memories at your family table: a Watergate Salad! Have you ever tried this fluff?
I’ll be honest: I’d never heard of it until I started blogging. Fluff wasn’t something we ate growing up. I think it’s more of a mid-western or southern thing because I’d never even seen dessert salad until apple salads started showing up in my Pinterest feed.
What is Watergate Salad?
In researching this salad recipe I found that it’s called by several funny names: Watergate, Green Goddess, Pistachio Delight, or Shut The Gate Salad or colloquially as Green Goop, Green Fluff or Green Stuff. I mean, I’m partial to Green Goop, aren’t you? LOL
(Why is #shutthegatesalad not a hashtag? SHUT THE GATE! LOL)
Watergate Salad got it’s start back in the 70s when Kraft Jell0-O came out with pistachio pudding mix. Can you imagine the conversation the Kraft kitchens chefs had?
“Dude, WTH do we do with PISTACHIO pudding mix?”
“I know, let’s mix it with pineapple and marshmallows and call it a SALAD!”
However it was developed or whatever it’s called, Watergate salad aka Pistachio Fluff is an iconic dessert that brings back so many family memories.
What ingredients are in Watergate Salad?
I have seen recipes all over the internet for making Watergate salad with cottage cheese or other fruit or even how to make Watergate salad with lime jello, but this is the traditional pistachio fluff recipe:
- Pistachio pudding mix: be sure to get instant pudding
- Crushed pineapple: a 20 ounce can
- Cool Whip: an 8-ounce container
- Pecans: you can use your favorite nut
- Marshmallows: mini marshmallows are best
That’s it! You can have pistachio fluff in just 5 minutes!
How to make Watergate salad Fluff
1. First, add pineapple and pudding to a very large bowl. Don’t drain the pineapple – the liquid will make the pudding. Note: if you want a thicker salad, drain the pineapple first. This is personal preference.
2. Once those are combined, add the whipped topping and stir it together.
3. Add the nuts and marshmallows and stir together, then chill.
Can you make easy Watergate salad without pineapple?
You can if you want, but it changes the recipe a bit. I suggest making the pudding as called for on the box then adding the other ingredients. If you want the flavor of pineapple without the chunks, make it with 1 cup milk and 1/2 cup pineapple juice.
Can you make pistachio fluff with cream cheese?
Yes, but again that changes the recipe a bit. You can just add an 8-ounce block of cream cheese to the recipe. Make sure it’s room temperature and mix it into the pudding and pineapple before folding in the cool whip.
Making Fluff Salad Ahead and Storing
You can make Watergate salad up to 2 days in advance. In fact, it’s better the longer it sits. Store in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap.
Tips for making Easy Watergate Fluff Salad:
- Make sure to use INSTANT pudding mix.
- If you find sugar-free pudding mix you can also use sugar-free cool whip but remember that the pineapple has sugar in it.
- Use walnuts in place of pecans if you prefer.
- Don’t skip the marshmallows or your fluff will be too wet.
Pistachio Salad FAQ
Traditionally no, but you can add 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut to the recipe.
No – you do not need to make the pudding recipe. Instead, the pineapple juice makes the creamy pudding.
Yes if you want a cheesecake fluff salad, mix cream cheese into the smooth pudding mixture.
Other Fluff Recipes
- Did you know you can add this fluff to a pie crust? Make Watergate Fluff PIE!
- Oreo Fluff Pie is full of my favorite dessert salad.
- Banana Pudding Fluff is one of my more popular fluff recipes.
Have you made this recipe?
Tag @crazyforcrust on Instagram or hashtag it #crazyforcrust
Watergate Fluff Salad
- 1 (3.4 ounce) box instant pistachio pudding mix
- 1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple in juice
- 1 (8 ounce) container cool whip
- 2 cups mini marshmallows
- 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- Add pudding mix and pineapple with the juice to a large bowl. Stir to combine.
- Fold in Cool Whip. Then stir in marshmallows and pecans.
- Chill 30 minutes before serving. Store in refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Tools for success:
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Watergate Salad is an easy dessert salad recipe like ambrosia with pistachio and pudding! This is such an easy no bake and simple recipe for a crowd.
Last Updated on June 3, 2022