Watergate Salad is a delightful, vintage salad packed with pistachio flavor. With five simple ingredients, this fluffy treat, also known as pistachio fluff, will quickly become a most-requested recipe.
Using pistachio pudding mix is a great way to get the flavor of pistachios into your favorite recipes. If you love pistachio as much as I do, try our Pistachio Coffee Cake and our mini Grinch Cakes (perfect for Christmas-time.)
Pistachio Fluff Ingredients
There are only 5 ingredients between you and this tasty treat.
- Instant Pistachio Pudding Mix
- Crushed Pineapple
- Chopped Nuts
- Cool Whip
I’ve always loved Pistachio Fluff. Honestly, if someone brought it to a family get-together, I was hanging out by the bowl of Watergate Salad. What is it about it that I love? Maybe it’s the delightful pistachio flavor that comes from a box of instant pistachio pudding mix. It’s this that also gives it it’s quintessential perfect green color.
Or maybe it’s the marshmallows. I love how they absorb the pineapple juice from the crushed pineapple and they become plump and soft. That’s why I also love Old Fashioned Fruit Salad and Ambrosia Salad.
It could be the chopped nuts. Little specks of chopped pecans that give a bit of texture in my mouth.
And last but not least, who doesn’t love Cool Whip. If you even dare to tell me you don’t, we can’t be friends. End of story.
Watergate Salad Recipe
I found this treasured Watergate Salad recipe in our Grandma’s little wooden recipe box. This box truly is a treasure. It has Grandma’s handwritten recipe cards, and she always noted who the recipe came from. This pistachio ambrosia salad is from our dear Great Aunt Aggie.
Both Grandma and Aunt Aggie were kindhearted, Christian women who served their families in many ways, including filling their bellies with tasty meals and desserts just like this one. How can we ever forget these wonderful women who are long gone? We can’t. And making their recipes is one way to honor them.
Old fashioned salads and recipes like this one may not be the coolest, trendiest foods around in our generation, but the nostalgia is well worth it. Especially in today’s fast-paced world. Making this pistachio ambrosia salad almost transports us back to those quieter days of the past.
How to Make Pistachio Salad:
- Combine instant pistachio pudding mix, chopped nuts, mini marshmallows, Cool Whip and undrained crushed pineapple until smooth.
- Chill before serving.
For the full recipe and ingredient list for Pistachio Fluff Salad, scroll to the bottom of this post.
Notes About Pistachio Watergate Salad:
- For this pistachio fluff, use instant pudding mix, NOT the cook and serve variety.
- Do not drain the crushed pineapple for this Watergate salad recipe.
- Use your food processor to pulverize canned pineapple chunks into crushed pineapple if that’s what you have in the pantry.
- Gelatin salads are versatile. Use more or less nuts or marshmallows or try adding some cottage cheese for a healthier spin.
- Sugar free pistachio pudding mix and fat free Cool Whip can be used for a healthier Watergate salad recipe.
- I prefer chopped pecans in this pistachio salad with marshmallows but walnuts would be another great alternative.
- Serve in a bowl, or even in an 8 1/2 x 11 inch dish like our Great Aunt Aggie suggests.
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Vintage Salad Recipes
Recipes like this Watergate Salad bring back so many memories. Whether served as a salad, a side dish or a dessert, many of us remember our moms or grandmas going to the refrigerator and pulling out a bowl filled with a mixture of canned fruit, pudding mix, nuts, marshmallows and Cool Whip.
Some of our most popular recipes are versions of these old-fashioned salads. Here are a few of our favorites.
- 3 1/2 ounces instant pistachio pudding mix
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts
- 1 cup mini marshmallows
- 8 ounces Cool Whip
- 8 ounces crushed pineapple, do not drain
- Mix all ingredients until pudding mix is completely blended.
- Chill until ready to serve. It is best served chilled.
- For this pistachio fluff, use instant pudding mix the cook and serve variety.
- Do not drain the crushed pineapple for this watergate salad recipe.
- Use your food processor to pulverize canned pineapple chunks into crushed pineapple if you have one on-hand and not the other.
- Gelatin salads are versatile. Use more or less nuts or marshmallows or try adding some cottage cheeses for a healthier spin.
- Sugar free pistachio pudding mix and fat free Cool Whip can be used for a healthier watergate salad recipe.
- I prefer chopped pecan in this pistachio salad with marshmallows but walnuts would be another great alternative.
- Love vintage salads like this one? Try Pink Lady Salad, Classic Ambrosia and Grandma's Cherry Fluff.