Easy Watergate Salad Recipe
Easy Watergate Salad Recipe is a simple and delicious dump-and-mix salad that has been around for years. This salad is a classic recipe that’s delicious, cool, and creamy—the best for backyard BBQs, tailgating, holidays, and dessert tables. A retro dessert that never goes out of style.
What is Watergate Salad?
Watergate salad is a super easy dessert made with just 5 ingredients. It comes together in minutes and is quite tasty. Instant pistachio dry pudding mix is added to crushed pineapple and mixed with mini marshmallows, pecans, and cool whip. It’s light, fluffy, and perfect for an appearance on holiday tables.
Recipe Origin- Why Do They Call It Watergate Salad?
It has been said that a chef at the Watergate Hotel invented this salad and served it to guests on the weekends, and I’ve also been told this salad was named after the presidential scandal. But no matter the name or its origins, the end result is the same -tasty.
Growing up, we called this salad the green stuff. It has many names and is also known as green goop, pistachio fruit salad, green fluff salad, pistachio dump salad, and pistachio pineapple delight. Regardless it’s the perfect combination for a fluffy salad with a beautiful green color. Plus, you are mixing a handful of ingredients and creating a super fast and delicious dessert.
I first had this salad in the late 70’s. My mom made this during an ice storm. It’s funny how certain smells and tastes will bring back childhood memories.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
This pistachio salad recipe uses simple ingredients found at your local grocery store.
- instant pistachio pudding mix
- crushed pineapple in juice (or pineapple chunks)
- cool whip
- mini marshmallows
- pecans or walnuts
How to Make Easy Watergate Salad
Add the ingredients to the bowl, stir, and refrigerate. That’s it! One of the simplest salads you could make.
- Add the pudding mix to a bowl, then the pineapple with the juice. Stir until mixed well.
- Stir in marshmallows, pecans, and cool whip.
Expert Tips and Variations
- You can use more Cool Whip if desired.
- Pistachio pudding is traditional; if you don’t like pistachio, swap it out for vanilla.
- Stir together the pineapple (and pineapple juice) with the dry instant pudding mix. No other liquid is needed.
- Swap out the nuts. Use walnuts or crushed pistachios instead of pecans.
For more Side Salads, be sure to check out Classic Macaroni Salad, Strawberry Spinach Salad, Greek Pasta Salad.
How to Store Leftovers
Store any leftovers wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. I hardly ever have leftovers; if I do, they don’t last longer than 3 days.
How to Serve Pistachio Fluff Salad
This dish is mostly served as a dessert but would work as a side dish. It looks nice served in a pretty serving bowl or individual bowls with a sprinkling of toasted nuts and a little more cool whip.
These toppings are optional but make a pretty presentation. Add more cool whip to the top, toasted coconut, crunchy pecans, and maraschino cherries to each serving.
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Easy Watergate Salad Recipe
- 1 (3.4oz.) box instant pistachio pudding mix
- 1 (20oz.) can crushed pineapple juice or syrup DO NOT DRAIN
- 1 cup mini marshmallows
- 1 cup pecans chopped
- 1 (8oz.) tub cool whip
- Add pudding mix and pineapple with the juice to a large bowl. Stir to combine.
- Stir in marshmallows and pecans. Then fold in whipped topping.
- Chill for at least 1 hour before serving. Store in refrigerator for up to 3 days.
This is one of the best desserts in the world. I actually have always called it “green stuff”, too. LOL. I can’t wait to try your recipe.
Oh gosh – I remember this recipe from childhood potlucks. (We called it the Green Stuff, too!) It’s always popular, easy to make, and so darn tasty! What’s not to love‽
This was such a light and fluffy salad with the perfect amount of crunch! Fun, easy and delicious to boot; definitely, a new favorite salad!
I made this salad for a get together this week and everyone raved about it! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!
I have not heard of this dessert before, but I’m so glad I found your recipe because my kids love any treat with marshmallows. We love the creamy, sweet, fruity, nutty flavors in this fruit salad!
My mom used to make this all the time but with vanilla pudding because of a nut allergy. I always loved it. I’m definitely going to have to try it with pistachio!
I make this every year for St Paddy’s day. We love it!
I love pistachio pudding, so I cannot wait to try this!