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Watergate Salad

Whip up this five ingredient Watergate Salad as a side dish or dessert in just five minutes. This classic recipe is a family favorite, perfect for potlucks and will disappear fast. 

Watergate Salad

Watergate Salad History

As with most classic recipes, the origin of a recipe has many variations of stories. According to Kraft, the popular Pistachio Fluff recipe began when their recipe for Pistachio Pineapple Delight was featured on the box of Pistachio Pudding. The original recipe did not have the mini marshmallows in it. 

Then in 1993, the name was changed to Watergate Salad by Kraft and the marshmallows were added.  

Pistachio Fluff in glasses

Watergate Salad Variations

Like many other recipes, this recipe has changed and evolved over the years and has many variations, depending on the cook and how she likes to make it. 

  • Watergate Salad with Cottage Cheese – I have never tried this variation before, although it does sound interesting.
  • Watergate Salad with Coconut – the addition of 1/2 cup coconut would give a little more texture to the recipe
  • Watergate Salad with Cherries – adding maraschino cherries would be a great addition. Not only would they taste good, but they would add more color to the recipe. 

There are also many variations of Fluff Recipes – Cherry Fluff, Pineapple Fluff, Pumpkin Fluff and Cranberry Fluff are all recipes that can be made with a handful of ingredients in just a few minutes. 

Ingredients for Watergate Salad

How to Make Watergate Salad 

This retro recipe from 1975 for Watergate Salad – or some call it Pistachio Fluff – can be made in about five minutes and it has only five ingredients. It’s the perfect make-ahead dish for potlucks or holidays. In November for Thanksgiving, many feasts wouldn’t be complete without it, and it’s great for Easter brunch or dinner. Add it to any Summer BBQ and you will have a hit on your hands.

This Pistachio Fluff is also one of those recipes that actually taste better if made a day ahead. It has time to set and all the flavors combine well together. 

Watergate Salad Ingredients

  • Instant Pistachio Pudding mix
  • Crushed Pineapple
  • Mini Marshmallows
  • Pecans
  • Whipped Topping


Spoon of Pistachio Fluff

This Watergate Salad recipe is always a hit! Try it for your next party! 

Looking for more easy Fluff Recipes? Click on the photo for the recipe! 

Cherry Fluff    Pineapple Fluff    Cranberry Fluff    Pumpkin Fluff

Watergate Salad

Watergate Salad

Watergate Salad

Yield: 8 - 10 oz. Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

A quick and easy recipe that you can serve as a salad or dessert.


  • 1 cup Mini Marshmallows
  • 1 package (4 oz) Pistachio Flavored Instant Pudding
  • 1 can (20 oz) Crushed Pineapple, do not drain
  • 1/2 cup Pecans, chopped plus some for garnish if you like
  • 1 (8 oz) tub Whipped Topping, thawed
  • Fresh pineapple for garnish, if desired


  1. Add all ingredients to a large bowl
  2. Stir until well combined
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving, overnight is fine.
  4. Store leftovers in refrigerator


Be sure to chill this recipe completely, it tastes better the next day.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 111Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 56mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 1gSugar: 10gProtein: 1g


  1. how far in advance can this be made?

  2. We make this every year for Thanksgiving! It’s so delicious…we should have it more often than that! Now you got me hungry for it. At least Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away!
    .-= Allison´s last blog ..Monday Mmmm….Tortilla Soup =-.

  3. My husband is from Michigan and I am originally from Pennsylvania… I never understood why his family served this dish as a side!! To me it was a dessert!!

    Either way — I just LOVE it! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
    .-= Ann Marie @ Household6Diva´s last blog ..biscuits n gravy =-.

  4. I posted a recipe similar to this earlier in the summer–I loooovvve this stuff–it’s so good and so easy to make, don’t you wonder why we don’t make this kind of thing more often?
    .-= Charlene @ A Virtuous Woman´s last blog ..Homemaker’s Haven =-.

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