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The easiest watergate salad recipe made in just 5 minutes with only 4 simple ingredients! Fluffy, creamy and full of delicious pistachio flavor. A classic potluck dish that everyone loves!

Pistachio desserts are so delicious and this tasty recipe is a reminder that I don’t make enough of them! I usually make pistachio cookies around Christmas time, but definitely need to add more to my rotation. They are so yummy!

watergate salad in a glass bowl with a cherry on top

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This watergate salad (also known as pistachio pudding salad, pistachio fluff or pistachio pineapple delight) is one of those old classic potluck dishes that everyone loves. It is SO unbelievably easy to make and can be made in less than 5 minutes!

Growing up, my grandma always had some type of fruit jello salad on the dinner table and it was usually this salad or her classic ambrosia salad. The kids always loved it because it had marshmallows hidden inside.

This watergate salad could technically be served as a side dish or a dessert, although it definitely seems more like a dessert to me because of the ingredients. But at grandma’s house, it was considered a side dish since there was always something else for dessert. :)

ingredients for watergate salad on the counter

Only 4 ingredients!

You only need 4 simple ingredients to make this pistachio pudding dessert. The original calls for nuts, but we usually leave them out since my kids prefer it that way. It does look pretty with a few sprinkled on top though!

  • 1 can crushed pineapple
  • Box of instant pistachio pudding
  • 1 1/2 cups whipped topping (cool whip)
  • 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows

How to make watergate salad

All you need to do is mix all of the ingredients together and then let the watergate salad refrigerate for 45 minutes to an hour. You want it to firm up pretty well in the fridge. When ready to serve, top with a maraschino cherry and some chopped pecans. You could even add a dollop of whipped cream, too!

TIP: For an added crunch, feel free to mix in about 1/2 cup chopped pecans.

pouring mini marshmallows into a glass bowl

Can you make it ahead of time?

Yes, it can definitely be made the night before. Simply make according to directions and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Then place the dessert in the fridge until ready to enjoy. Right before serving, drain any excess liquid and give it a good stir. Then add toppings and enjoy!

Serving tips

  • Serve in a large glass bowl, trifle jar or even mini trifle jars.
  • Top with maraschino cherries, chopped pecans and whipped cream before serving. Sometimes I add a few extra mini marshmallows on top too.
  • This recipe serves 8. You can double or even triple the recipe for a large crowd.

pistachio pudding salad in a glass bowl with a cherry on top

More fluff salad recipes:

watergate salad recipe

Watergate Salad Recipe

5 from 9 votes
The easiest watergate salad recipe made in just 5 minutes with only 4 simple ingredients! Fluffy, creamy and full of delicious pistachio flavor. A classic potluck dish that everyone loves!
Prep Time: 5 mins
Chill Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Servings: 8

Ingredients 

  • 3.4 ounce box pistachio instant pudding (dry)
  • 20 ounce can crushed pineapple (drained)
  • 1 1/2 cups whipped topping (thawed)
  • 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows

Optional: 1/2 cup chopped pecans

    Instructions

    • Combine the dry instant pudding, crushed pineapple and mini marshmallows. Stir in the whipped topping, just until combined.
    • Refrigerate for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until firm. 

    Notes

    Make ahead: Prepare as directed, then cover tightly with plastic wrap. Store in the fridge until ready to serve. Give it a good stir right before serving. 

    Calories: 149kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 191mg | Potassium: 102mg | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 45IU | Vitamin C: 6.7mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 0.2mg
    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: American
    Author: Jamielyn Nye

    Adapted from Kraft Recipes

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