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Authentic Watergate Salad Recipe in 5 Minutes

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Try this easy and delicious Watergate Salad Recipe this weekend to surprise your family, and let them decide whether they call it salad or dessert!!

Authentic Watergate Salad

This easy and classic American watergate salad is sure to surprise your family and friends with its fluffy texture and sweet creamy green color. You can make this easy-peasy salad recipe just in 5 minutes using only 5 ingredients.

You only need instant pistachio-flavored pudding mix, canned pineapples, mini marshmallows, whipped cream, and some nuts to make this mouthwatering green fluff!

With its vibrant green color, and unique fluffy texture, the recipe traces its roots back to the 70s, when Jell-O first introduced Pistachio pudding mix. And now, you’ll find this green fluff, or said watergate salad served as a sweet side dish, or as a chilled no-bake dessert on special occasions like Easter or on holidays in family get-togethers..

What is Watergate salad?

Whether you call it watergate salad, green fluff, or green stuff or Pistachio delight. The salad has many names with its variations from generations. But here, I’m talking about a classic Watergate salad recipe that can melt your hearts with its frozen taste😜😜

The salad doesn’t require a pro chef skills to be in your bowl. Whether you’re a newbie or just want to impress your family with your hidden food magic. You can choose this recipe without thinking more😍

Why is this called Watergate Salad?

Sounds like a strange name for a simple salad, doesn’t it? The name has a few possible origins. Kraft Kitchen originally called it Pistachio Pineapple Delight in 1975.

Apparently, when the food editor printed it in a newspaper column she changed the name to Watergate Salad to generate more interest in the recipe.

The Watergate Scandal was the name of the presidential scandal of that time. It is rumored that the chef at the Watergate Hotel invented this classic recipe.

Is Watergate Salad A Dessert?

This is interesting, when its hard to decide for you, whether you’re enjoying a salad or dessert? isn’t it? Well watergate salad is a salad that’s also a desert! Traditionally, this watergate salad is served as a side dish or an accompaniment to the main course, but you can also serve it as a chilled quick dessert that can be ready in just 5 minutes with very simple and regular ingredients.

Watergate Salad Ingredients

Watergate salad recipe is one of easiest recipe, which you can make using only five ingredients. You need not to spend a lot of time in kitchen or any pro techniques for this.

So gather the ingredients and lets start making some deliciousness in our kitchen.

Pistachio Pudding Mix: I am using instant pistachio pudding mix for the recipe. Jell-O brand is my favorite brand for this recipe. But feel free to make it with your favorite brand or flavor as well.

Crushed Pineapple Can: A can of crushed pineapple can will work best in the recipe. I am using crushed pineapple with its full juice. It will help to incorporate the instant pudding into the juice well.

Mini Marshmallows: Don’t skip the marshmallows in the recipe. It will help to absorb extra moisture of pineapple juice. Moreover, the texture of these mini marshmallows gives it a fluffy bite.

Whipped Cream: Ok now, there are again two choices for you. If you prefer a vintage and classic taste and texture, you can use cool whip. While homemade whipping cream made with heavy cream, sugar and vanilla will also work best for this watergate salad.

Add-ins: For a classic recipe, I prefer to add fresh and crunchy pecans and for topping 1 or 2 maraschino cherry to add some extra flavor and color.

watergate salad recipe ingredients
Watergate Salad Ingredients

Easy Steps for Watergate Salad Recipe

Hope you’ve gathered all ingredients and now is ready to make this delicious treat by yourself. As you know, the recipe goes for 8 servings. But it all depends upon the serving size and portions too. Because I can eat this delicious salad even 3 times a day😂

Follow Easy steps to make this easy-peasy and quick watergate salad recipe:

Step 1:

Take a large bowl, and add a can of crushed pineapple with juice. I preferred to add all juice of can with crushed pineapples, but you can add less juice to adjust its texture.

Step 2:

Add 1 pack of pistachio flavored instant pudding mix into the crushed pineapples, and mix it well with a spoon or spatula.

Step 1
Step 2

Step 3:

After mixing crushed pineapples with pistachio flavored instant pudding, you’ll see a vibrant green color of the mixture. Now add mini marshmallows. Mini marshmallow bites give you a fluffy and chewy texture in each bite.

Step 4:

Now add your favorite nuts to the pudding mixture. I love to add pecans to this salad to maintain its classic look and texture. But feel free to customize it with your favorite nuts like walnuts or almonds. You can also sprinkle crushed coconut flakes over the salad to enhance its taste and flavor. But this is completely optional.

Step 3
Step 4

Step 5

Now gently fold in the whipped cream. You can use cool whip for a vintage texture. But if you want to make it from scratch, you can make whipping cream at home easily only with heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla essence.

Step 6

Top the watergate salad with extra marshmallows, and pecans. You can also top it with maraschino cherries or coconut flakes if you like. Chill the watergate salad in refrigerator for 1 to hours before serving. Enjoy!!

Step 5
Step 6

Pro Tips for Perfect Watergate Salad Recipe

If you’re making this watergate salad first time, be sure to follow these expert tips to make your recipe flawless.

💨 While selecting the pudding mix, be sure to use instant pudding mix.

💨 To make the salad more lighter and fluffy, you can fold in a 1/2 cup of more whipped cream into the salad before serving.

💨 Be sure to mix the crushed pineapples with pudding mix thoroughly until it dissolve completely to avoid any lumps.

💨 Although the salad can be served instantly. But chilling can help to meld the flavors and enhance the taste of salad. So be sure to chill the salad in refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.

Recipe Swaps

Pudding Mix:

If you don’t like pistachio flavor, you can replace it with your favorite flavor of pudding.

Whipping Cream:

If you’re run out of chilled or canned whipping cream, you can make your own whipping cream at home easily using only heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla essence.


Classic recipe calls for fresh and crunchy pecans, but feel free to use your favorite nuts like almonds, walnuts or even coconut flakes to make it your own signature dish.

Mini Marshmallows:

Don’t try to skip marshmallows in the recipe. If you’ve not mini marshmallows in hand, you can replace it with regular ones. For this, you can cut the mushrooms into small pieces to give it same texture.

How to make this Watergate Salad vegan?

Turning this watergate salad is super easy. You just need to swap whipped cream and marshmallows to plant based ingredients. While Jell-O Pistachio flavored instant pudding mix is already gelatin free.

So just replace the whipped cream and marshmallows and make this watergate salad vegan easily.

What to Serve with Watergate Salad?

As you know, this watergate salad can also serve as dessert, or you can serve it as a side dish or an accompaniment to the main course. This is a traditional dish that is used to serve in family festive gatherings from 70s.

Here are some recommendations for the dish you can pair well with this watergate salad.

Golden Corral Pot Roast

Perfect Shepherdless Pie

Quick & Easy Marry Me Chicken

Bill Miller’s Signature Green Beans

Turkey Pot Pie Recipe With Cream of Chicken Soup

Can I Make the Salad A Day Ahead?

Absolutely! You can make the salad a day ahead before enjoying. It will help to meld the flavors, and the extra time for chilling will enhance its flavor too.

How to Store the Leftovers?

Don’t worry if you have leftover watergate salad. You can store the salad in refrigerator for 2 to 3 days easily.

For this, be sure to use an air-tight container. Transfer the salad in container, and place it in refrigerator. In this way, you can freeze it this salad for 3 days easily.

Be sure to use the watergate salad within these days, as we’re using dairy products like whipping cream in the salad, so extended time period can alter the taste of salad.

Can You Freeze the Watergate Salad for Longer Time Period?

Well personally I’ll not recommend to freeze the salad for longer time period, because of whipping cream and marshmallows. The flavor can alter if you do so.

Still if you’ve made a large batch of watergate salad, and want to freeze it for later use, you can freeze it in freezer for 3 months.

Be sure to store the salad in freezer-safe container carefully, and thaw it in refrigerator before serving.

Authentic Watergate Salad Recipe in 5 Minutes

Recipe by Zanib MughalCourse: SaladsCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time





Try this easy and delicious Watergate Salad Recipe this weekend to surprise your family, and let them decide whether they call it salad or dessert!!


  • 1 package instant pistachio pudding mix (3.4 ounce)

  • 1 can crushed pineapple, with juice (8 ounce)

  • 1 cup mini marshmallows

  • ½ cup chopped pecans

  • 4 ounces frozen whipped topping (thawed)


  • Take a large bowl, and combine pistachio flavored instant pudding mix, crushed pineapple with juice, mini marshmallows, and pecans. Mix everything well to combine until there are no lumps in the mixture.
  • Now gently fold in chilled whipping cream to the pudding mixture. Chill the salad for 1 to 2 hours and Enjoy!!

Watergate Salad Nutritions

So the recipe goes for 8 servings. And here is an estimated nutrition facts for a serving of watergate salad. It can vary with the brand of ingredients you’re using. Moreover, serving size can also vary according to portions of salad you serve!!

Servings: 8

Calories: 173 (Per serving)

Fat: 7g

Carbs: 25g

Protein: 1g

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Your Queries Got Answered!

Why do they call it Watergate salad?

Watergate salad was firstly introduced by Kraft kitchen in 70s, and they called it Pistachio Pineapple Delight. But the name was changed by a newspaper editor, when she called it watergate salad because of its deliciousness.

What is Watergate salad made of?

Watergate salad is super easy to make, only with 5 ingredients, and you’ll get this amazing salad dessert. For this, combine instant pistachio flavored pudding mix, crushed pineapple with juice, marshmallows, and your favorite nuts. Now fold in chilled whipping cream and serve chilled.

Why is your watergate salad runny?

If your watergate salad looks runny, it might be because you haven’t fully incorporated pineapple juice with pudding mix. For this, be sure to stir pudding mix with pineapple juice until it’s fully dissolved and there are no lumps.

Is it a Southern Thing?

It is known as a classic dish in the Midwest from the 70s, and is enjoyed all across the United States. It is also loved in the South as well.

Is Watergate Salad A Dessert?

Although this is called watergate salad, and is served with dinner and accompaniment or side dish. But you can also serve it as chilled no bake dessert after dinner.

How long does the watergate salad last in the fridge?

It is preferred to enjoy the salad fresh, however if you’ve leftover salad, you can keep it in fridge for 3 days in an air-tight container.

In Last

So, I think its all done from my side. And now you know everything what is essential to make watergate salad at home.

Foodie Note: If you like this sweet salad, or foodie like me, don’t forget to make and share this delicious fluff, also share it with your friends or those, who’re looking for something classic and traditional to make in these holidays.

Don’t forget to pin your favorite recipe of recipezenith on Pinterest, and follow me on Facebook to be a part of recipezenith’s family. Tag me on Instagram with @recipezenith #recipezenith

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