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This Pistachio Salad is a fluffy and creamy Watergate salad that is easy to whip up and tastes even better the second day! It’s perfect for St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or anytime you’re craving a pistachio dessert!
This Watergate Salad recipe is always a hit at family celebrations and holidays. It’s dreamy, creamy, and always a crowd-pleaser. This Pistachio Salad is a favorite for 2 reasons:
- It’s incredibly simple to make.
- It’s perfect for literally every single holiday or get-together, no matter the time of year! This salad makes its way onto my Easter, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas table.
Why do they call it Watergate salad?
The origins of this salad are still a bit of a mystery, unlike the actual Watergate Scandal. This dish was first created in the 1970s, but it has nothing to do with the Watergate Scandal.
Many believe that the name was a way to gain attention and promote a food editor’s column based on the time’s current events.
Does pistachio taste almond?
Pistachio flavoring is made with almond extract. So pistachio JELLO does have a hint of almond flavor in it.
How to Make Pistachio Salad:
- Stir together pudding mix and pineapple juice.
- Add pineapple marshmallows, pecans, and coconut. Stir until the marshmallows are coated in the pudding mixture.
- Fold in Cool Whip, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Chill for at least 4 hours.
- Garnish with maraschino cherries, pecans, and additional Cool Whip.
Cook’s Tools – Pistachio Pudding Salad:
How much will this Pistachio Salad recipe cost to make?
RECIPE COST: $7.39
PER SERVING COST: $0.92
NOTE: The recipe prices are calculated by using grocery store websites. The actual cost of the recipe will vary depending on what ingredients you already have.
- 20 oz can crushed pineapple – $0.98
- 3.4 oz box instant pistachio pudding – $0.98
- 2 ½ cups mini marshmallows – $0.55
- 1 cup pecans – $2.84
- ½ cup sweetened coconut – $0.20
- 8 ounces Cool Whip – $1.84
The Flavor and Recipe Variations:
You can whip 2 cups of heavy whipping cream to use in this recipe instead of Cool Whip. Just note that you can only make this salad up to 24 hours in advance. This is so because the whipping cream is not s stable as Cool Whip.
How Long is it Good For:
SERVE: You can leave this pistachio salad out for about 30-60 minutes before you need to refrigerate it.
STORE: This fluff salad will keep for about 2 days in the refrigerator.
FREEZE: I do not recommend freezing the fluff salad. The mini marshmallows do not hold up well once frozen and then defrosted.
More Classic Dessert Recipes:
- Peppermint Patty Candy
- Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
- Buckeye Candy
- Pecan Snowball Cookies
- Divinity Candy
- Pink Macarons
- Spiced Creme Brulee
- Homemade Banana Pudding
- Old Fashioned Fudge
- Homemade Caramel Corn
- Buttermilk Pie
- Peanut Brittle
- 20 oz can crushed pineapple in juice
- 3.4 oz box instant pistachio pudding
- 2 ½ cups mini marshmallows
- 1 cup pecans chopped into small pieces
- ½ cup shredded sweetened coconut
- 8 ounces Cool Whip thawed
- Cool Whip
- maraschino cherries drained
- chopped pecans
- Place a medium fine mesh strainer over a large measuring cup. Drain the pineapple and reserve the crushed pineapple in the strainer until ready to use.
- In a large bowl add the pudding mix.
- Stir in the pineapple juice until combined.
- Add the crushed pineapple, marshmallows, pecans, and coconut.
- Mix until combined and all of the marshmallows are coated in the pudding mixture.
- Fold in the Cool Whip.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.
- Spoon the salad into serving dishes and garnish with cool whip, maraschino cherries, and pecans.
- You can even use this Watergate Salad recipe as frosting! Just exclude the mini marshmallows, and you’re good to go!
- Instead of pecans, you can use chopped unsalted pistachios or chopped walnuts.
- Sometimes I like to add 2 small cans of drained Mandarin orange into this salad, too. I especially like doing this for Christmas.
- For the holidays, I like to punch up the green color of this salad by adding 1-2 drops of green food coloring during step 2 of the recipe below.