Pistachio Salad aka Watergate Salad is an old-school, dessert/salad. Make it with pistachio pudding, pineapple, pistachios, marshmallows, and Cool Whip.
This old-fashioned lime-green wonder first debuted in the ’70s. It is also called Watergate Salad, Pistachio Fruit Salad, Pistachio Pudding Dessert, and Pistachio Fluff Salad.
Watergate Salad History:
According to Wikipedia, “The origin of the name “Watergate salad” is obscure. The recipe was published by General Foods and called for two General Foods products: Jell-O instant pistachio pudding and Cool Whip whipped topping. According to Kraft, “There are several urban myths regarding the name change, but we can’t substantiate any of them.”
I’m not sure how in good conscience this dish can ever be called a “salad.” The only thing even slightly healthy about this yummy dessert is the pineapple. It’s like a friend of mine trying to convince me ketchup is considered a vegetable!
Nevertheless, healthy or not, like the jello salads our mother’s used to make, this Pistachio Salad aka Watergate Salad has stood the test of time! Especially in the South, it is still a favorite dish at potlucks and church socials and graces many a table at backyard barbecues.
If you like old-fashioned dessert recipes like this, you might also like:
- Make Ahead Frozen Fruit Salad
- Easy Grape Salad with Cream Cheese.
- Classic Southern Strawberry Shortcake
- Old-Fashioned Southern Ambrosia
- Old-Fashioned Strawberry Pie with Jello, and
- Minnie Lee Croley’s Sour Cream Pound Cake
How to make Pistachio Salad aka Watergate Salad!
The only thing better than the taste of this fantastic dish is it’s easy and has a short ingredient list. So put on your bellbottoms, play some disco music and let’s get started.
Combine the pineapple, pudding mix, marshmallows and pistachios in a medium-size bowl. Mix well.
Add the Cool Whip and combine.
Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour.
Optional, garnish with maraschino cherries and a few pistachios, if desired, and serve.
Sharon’s Expert Tip:
No pistachios, no problem. You can easily substitute chopped toasted pecans or other nuts.
Best Pistachio Salad aka Watergate Salad Recipe
- 1 can crushed pineapple in juice 20 oz
- 1 pkg pistachio flavor instant pudding mix 3.4 oz
- 1 cup marshmallows miniature
- 1/2 cup pistachios chopped
- 8 oz frozen whipped topping thawed
- optional garnish maraschino cherries
- Combine the pineapple, pudding mix, marshmallows and pistachios in a medium-size bowl. Mix well.
- Add the thawed whipped topping and stir until everything is combined.
- Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour.
- Optional, garnish with maraschino cherries and a few pistachios, if desired, and serve.