Easy four-ingredient classic Watergate Salad recipe is perfect for holiday dinners or family dinners. Also known as pistachio fluff salad, you won't believe how quick and easy this dessert salad is to make.
Watergate Salad Recipe
I have to admit that growing up I called this Watergate Salad the green holiday salad. We only had it at Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner and it was my favorite!! I may have loaded big scoops on my plate and skipped everything else until I had my fill.
Now as an adult I realize I can make this dessert salad anytime I want it which is epic! I have heard this salad called green fluff salad, pistachio fluff, green goop, green stuff, Pineapple Pistachio Delight, or pistachio delight.
Whatever you call it I hope you love it!!! It is such a quick and easy side dish for family dinner or the holidays. This year I am making it for St. Patrick's Day!
It is crazy to me that we have never made it for St. Patrick's Day dinner so this year it is happening.
I know that many of you will not enjoy that I called this a salad but that is what it is known as. I know that many of these retro recipes make people shake their heads but they have also lasted for multiple generations which makes me love them.
Any recipe that can last and adapt to multiple generations of families making them is amazing to me.
This is one of my go to potluck dishes. I have no idea how this green salad earned its name but some sites say that a chef at the Watergate Hotel in Washington DC created it.
However it was created I am glad this retro family favorite continues to be popular today.
- Pistachio pudding mix
- Crushed Pineapple
- Cool Whip Whipped Topping
- Mini Marshmallows
- Maraschino Cherry
Optional - pecans, cottage cheese, mandarin oranges, fruit cocktail, coconut or cream cheese.
Large Mixing Bowl - We are big fans of this glass batter bowl that has a handle. It makes it easy to mix ingredients and keeps the mixing bowl steady on the counter.
Spatula/Wooden Spoon - We use a spatula to gently fold/stir the mixture together.
How to make Pistachio Fluff
Make sure to use a large bowl so you have space for all of the ingredients and to be able to mix them without the green stuff flying over the sides of the bowl.
Combine pistachio pudding mixed with crushed pineapple including the juice. Mix together until well combined.
Gently mix in Cool Whip until no streaks show in the pistachio fluff. Add in marshmallows and chill in the refrigerator.
Top with Maraschino Cherries or chopped pecans/walnuts. You can add a bit of whipped cream to the top for a fun look.
This pistachio fluff recipe needs to be stored in the refrigerator.
We do not drain the pineapple when making this recipe. The pineapple liquid mixes with the pudding mix to create the green color.
There are many adaptations of this family favorite dessert salad.
If you have people in your life that do not like the crunch of the nuts in this salad you can sift them out. We used to remove the large nut chunks growing up so the salad was smoother. We had family members that did not like crunching on nuts but would love this salad if the pieces were removed.
This pistachio fluff recipe can be served in a large bowl or divided into small bowls and served in individual servings.
Printable recipe card instructions are below.
Nutrition information, including calories, protein, calcium, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamin c, vitamin a, potassium, cholesterol, sodium, trans fat, monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, and more, will vary depending on the products used.
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- Combine pistachio pudding and pineapple with juice in a large mixing bowl. Stir together until well mixed.
- Gently fold in Cool Whip until there are no streaks. Add in mini marshmallows until evenly divided.
- Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Top with whipped topping and maraschino cherries.