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Watergate Salad

Watergate Salad is a classic potluck and holiday dish that is mixed up in about 5 minutes! Easy pistachio fluff made with crushed pineapple, pecans, cherries and pistachio pudding for a festive dish that anyone can make!

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Watergate Salad garnished with cherries and pecansWatergate Salad is a classic potluck and holiday dish that is mixed up in about 5 minutes! Easy pistachio fluff made with crushed pineapple, pecans, cherries and pistachio pudding for a festive dish that anyone can make!

Watergate Salad

Rather you call it pistachio fluff, Watergate Salad or that green stuff that grandma always makes, it’s always a hit with the crowd. We also love strawberry fluff and once you see how easy these desserts are to make, you will want to make them all year long.

Just take me to the recipe! If you are just looking for the recipe, just scroll on down to the very bottom. You will find a printable recipe card with ingredients and instructions. Read on for the step by step photos.

I love all of the retro Jello “salads” that my mother in law makes and that I remember from my childhood and Watergate Salad is probably my favorite. The holidays just aren’t the same without it.

How these desserts became known as salads is beyond me, maybe because they have fruits and sometimes vegetables with Jello or pudding… who knows? 

Ingredients for Watergate Salad: pecans, crushed pineapple, cool whip, cherries, mini marshmallows, pistachio pudding

Ingredients for Watergate Salad:

  • Instant Pistachio Pudding Mix
  • Crushed Pineapple
  • Cool Whip
  • Pecans
  • Mini Marshmallows
  • Maraschino Cherries

How to Make Watergate Salad:

Pineapple and pistachio pudding in a bowl

  • Pour crushed pineapple with juice in a mixing bowl.

Pineapple and pistachio pudding mixture for watergate salad

  • Add instant pistachio pudding and mix well. 

cool whip added to pineapple and pistachio pudding

  • Fold in Cool Whip.

cherries, pecans and marshmallows for watergate salad

  • Add pecans, mini marshmallows and cherries.

Pistachio fluff holiday dessert

  • Mix well. 

Overhead of Watergate Salad dessert

  • Top with a dollop of Cool Whip, a few more pecans and whole cherries. 
  • Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. 

Tips for Making Watergate Salad:

  • Make this Watergate Salad Recipe up to a day in advance. Keep covered and chilled until ready to serve. 
  • Drain the cherries well and place on a paper towel, blot off excess juice. 
  • Quarter or roughly chop cherries. Place on another paper towel and blot off excess juice. This will keep the cherry juice from discoloring the salad. Trust me on this one, no one wants brown pistachio fluff!
  • Save a few of the chopped pecans and Cool Whip for garnish and add a few whole Maraschino cherries that you have drained and blotted with a paper towel. 
  • You can dish the pistachio fluff into individual servings before garnishing and refrigerating to make serving easier. 

Holiday dessert pistachio fluff

More Holiday Dishes to Try:

Cranberry Salad Recipe for holiday dinners from Miss in the Kitchen

Cranberry Salad  is a favorite for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. It is filled with fresh cranberries, apples, oranges, pineapple, pomegranate, toasted walnuts and raspberry jello. This is a surefire hit for the holidays!

Cranberry Fluff

  • Cranberry Fluff is another dessert salad that we simple have to have for Thanksgiving and Christmas! This version is a little different, skipping the crushed pineapple and adding tart apples and grapes with toasted walnuts. It’s super easy and so delicious.
  • Sweet Potato Casserole is another holiday favorite that could be considered a dessert if you are adding the classic marshmallow topping! I skip the marshmallows and just use buttered pecans. 
  • My Easy Thanksgiving Dinner has everything you need from the main dish, sides, appetizers, desserts and even drinks!

If you love this Recipe as much as I do, please leave a comment and a five star review, and be sure to help me share on Pinterest!

Yield: 10 Servings

Watergate Salad

Bowl of pistachio fluff dessert with cherries

Watergate Salad is a classic potluck and holiday dish that is mixed up in about 5 minutes! Easy pistachio fluff made with crushed pineapple, pecans, cherries and pistachio pudding for a festive dish that anyone can make!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 20 ounce can crushed pineapple with juice (do not drain)
  • 3.4 ounce instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 8 ounces Cool Whip or frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1/3 cup diced maraschino cherries (see note), plus more for garnish if desired

Instructions

  1. Add crushed pineapple with juice to a mixing bowl and add pistachio pudding mix. Stir to combine.
  2. Fold in Cool Whip (reserve a dollop for garnish if desired).
  3. Mix in pecans(reserve about a tablespoon for garnish), marshmallows and cherries.
  4. Top with a dollop of Cool Whip, remaining chopped pecans and whole Maraschino Cherries if desired.
  5. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour before serving. Can be made a day in advance.

Notes

Drain the Maraschino cherries well. Place on a paper towel and blot excess juice. Chop cherries and then place on a new paper towel and blot excess juice.

This will keep the cherry juice from discoloring your salad.

Use the same method for garnish.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 221Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 24mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 2gSugar: 21gProtein: 2g

Nutritional calculations are estimated and may not be accurate.

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4 Comments

  1. Take it to the next level and get the fruit flavored marshmallows from Walmart … OMG it’s sooooo good !
    And
    Your welcome…😝

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