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Watergate Salad is a delicious retro recipe that can be whipped up in just 5 minutes!
This easy pistachio fluff recipe is a classic recipe made with pecans, pineapple, and pistachio pudding! It can be served as a potluck side dish or even a dessert!
What is Watergate Salad?
Watergate Salad might be just as classic as apple pie in some households. This retro dessert salad had been around for generations, dating back to 1975 when Kraft launched its pistachio pudding and called the dish Pistachio Pineapple Delight. The dessert blended pineapple and pistachio together with whipped topping and marshmallows for a sweet and fluffy dish.
How did Watergate Salad Get Its Name?
I love a dish with a little bit of fun history! The famous dish got the name “Watergate Salad” when a Chicago column renamed it to garner interest. Given that the Watergate Scandal was just a year prior, I’m sure it caught several people’s attention when flipping through the newspaper. But this salad isn’t as scandalous as the Nixon administration and being downright delicious is the only crime it’s committing. And those crimes are against my waistline… “sorry, pants”.
How to Make Watergate Salad
Even for someone who doesn’t particularly love pistachio as a flavor, I find this salad extremely addictive.
Similar to an ambrosia salad, this easy Watergate Salad recipe contains both pineapple and coconut. It also has pistachio pudding which adds amazing flavor and gives it its characteristic pretty green color!
Like most retro recipes, there are different versions of this salad (some containing cottage cheese or cream cheese) but this easy version is always a favorite! Soft and fluffy and just simply stir and serve!
The tart pineapple and sweet coconut and pecans and that cream whipped topping and fluffy marshmallows, this dish is utterly irresistible. Plus, it only takes 5 minutes to whip up.
The worst thing about this recipe is that it’s supposed to chill for 6 hours before serving… wahhh! But I have found that if you make it the night before you need it, you can sleep off most of the cravings, but don’t be surprised if your subconscious wakes you up for a little midnight snack ;) I’ve definitely been known to sneak a few bites before it’s “done”.
This simple, old fashioned dessert is perfect as a side or dessert at summer BBQs, everyone will be begging you for the recipe! Serve it up with my Strawberry Peach Slushies and these Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs.
- 20 oz canned crushed pineapple in juice NOT SYRUP
- 3.4 oz 3.4 oz. box instant pistachio pudding mix
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
- 8 oz whipped topping
- maraschino cherry for topping
- pecan chips for topping
Drain the crushed pineapple juice into a large bowl, reserving the pineapple in the can.
Stir the pudding mix into the pineapple juice until fully combined.
Stir in the crushed pineapple, coconut, pecans, and marshmallows until combined.
Fold in the whipped topping.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours and up to 48 hours.
Garnish with pecan chips and a cherry when serving.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)
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