Sweet, fluffy, Watergate Salad is a classic recipe made with pistachio pudding, pineapple, marshmallows, chopped nuts, and Cool Whip.

bowl of Watergate SaladWatergate Salad

Watergate Salad is one of those traditional, sweet, fluffy “salads” that you find at every southern gathering whether it’s on the Easter dinner table or something brought to a summer pot luck.

Watergate Salad is similar to another classic, Ambrosia salad, with marshmallows, fruit, and nuts, but instead of sour cream Watergate Salad is made with Cool Whip, or stabilized whipped cream, and pistachio instant pudding, which gives it that signature green coloring.

It’s sweet, creamy, fluffy, and totally delicious!

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What is in Watergate Salad?

As usual with a classic recipe that is loved by everyone, Watergate Salad has lots of variations. I’m sharing the recipe that my family makes but if you want to make a few changes, or have family traditions of your own, go for it!

  • Pistachio Instant Pudding
  • Crushed pineapple (undrained!!)
  • Marshmallows – I use regular marshmallows but some recipes call for fruity, multi-colored marshmallows
  • Pecans – The nuts vary from one recipe to another. My family has always used pecans but I have seen recipes that use pistachios (makes sense!), and even walnuts. Do whatever you like!
  • Cool Whip – I know some people prefer to use homemade whipped cream rather than Cool Whip. If you do just make sure to use a stabilized whipped cream so it doesn’t loose it’s fluffiness as it sits out. 

How to Make Watergate Salad:

  1. In a large bowl combine the undrained pineapples and the pistachio instant pudding. Stir together until the pudding mix is fully dissolved. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 5 minute to let the pudding firm up.
  2. Remove the bowl from the refrigerator and gently fold in the Cool Whip.
  3. Add the marshmallows and chopped nuts and fold them in until they are well mixed.
  4. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

bowl of fluffy and light Watergate Salad

Can You Make Watergate Salad Ahead of Time?

Yes! In fact I recommend you make it the night before, or first thing in the morning on party day, so that it can sit in the refrigerator and all of those flavors can meld together, the marshmallows will soften a little, and the Watergate Salad will firm up a little.

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WATERGATE SALAD
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Servings: 8
Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 10 mins

Watergate Salad

Sweet, fluffy, Watergate Salad is a classic recipe made with pistachio pudding, pineapple, marshmallows, chopped nuts, and Cool Whip.
bowl of Watergate Salad
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Ingredients

  • 3.4 ounce Pistachio Instant Pudding, small box
  • 20 ounces Crushed pineapple, canned
  • 8 ounces Cool Whip
  • 1 cup Marshmallows
  • ½ cup Pecans, chopped

Instructions

  • In a large bowl combine the undrained pineapples and the pistachio instant pudding. Stir together until the pudding mix is fully dissolved. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 5 minute to let the pudding firm up.
  • Remove the bowl from the refrigerator and gently fold in the Cool Whip.
  • Add the marshmallows and chopped nuts and fold them in until they are well mixed.
  • Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 202kcal, Carbohydrates: 37g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 4mg, Sodium: 202mg, Potassium: 143mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 31g, Vitamin A: 1.7%, Vitamin C: 8.1%, Calcium: 4.8%, Iron: 2%
Nutrition Disclaimer: We are not certified nutritionists. Nutrition facts are an estimate and are provided as a courtesy. They are generated by an online API which recognizes ingredient names and amounts and makes calculations based on the serving size. Results may vary.
Author: Kat Jeter & Melinda Caldwell
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pistachio fluff, pistachio pineapple delight, watergate salad recipe