Watergate Salad

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The famous Watergate Salad is a retro side or dessert “salad” with canned fruits, pistachio pudding mix, whipped cream, and crushed pistachios.

Watergate Salad is a holiday classic that pairs perfectly with other side dishes such as Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Vegetables, Brussels Sprouts, and/or a Sweet Potato Casserole!

Watergate Salad, topped with pistachios

Watergate Salad

This salad was a staple in my home growing up! My aunt made this (or Frog Eye Salad) for every family potluck meal or holiday dinner. I don’t think we ever had a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner without her famous Watergate Salad. Back in the day when fresh fruit was hard to come by in the winter, this fruit salad took advantage of canned fruits to add some goodness to holiday meals.

And growing up I always wanted to know…

Pistachios for Watergate Salad

A few variations to try:

  • Try Watergate Salad with cherries by adding 1/4 cup chopped maraschino cherries.
  • Colored mini marshmallows instead of white mini marshmallows add an additional fruity flavor and fun color.
  • Additional fruit: Try adding in an extra can of drained mandarin oranges, a can of drained fruit cocktail, or a sliced banana (add right before serving).
  • For a lower calorie version, try using lite whipped topping.

QUICK TIP

If you aren’t a fan of pistachio, try making a Watergate Salad with lime jello! This recipe is slightly different than your typical Watergate Salad recipe but it uses a lot of the same ingredients.

Main Dishes that pair well with this salad:

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Watergate Salad (Pistachio Fluff)

5 from 5 votes
Creamy pistachio-flavored Watergate Salad is full of canned fruits, pistachio pudding mix, whipped cream, and crushed pistachios. This side dish salad or dessert salad is also referred to as "pistachio fluff," "green fluff," or "green goddess."
Print Recipe

Watergate Salad (Pistachio Fluff)

5 from 5 votes
Creamy pistachio-flavored Watergate Salad is full of canned fruits, pistachio pudding mix, whipped cream, and crushed pistachios. This side dish salad or dessert salad is also referred to as "pistachio fluff," "green fluff," or "green goddess."
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword watergate salad, watergate salad recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Chilling Time 45 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 8 -10 servings, as a side
Calories 213kcal
Author Chelsea

Ingredients

  • 2 cans (8 ounces EACH) crushed pineapple, undrained (pineapple in juice, not syrup)
  • 1 package (3.4 ounce) pistachio-flavored instant pudding 4-serving size
  • 1 can (14 ounces) mandarin oranges, well drained
  • 3/4 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1/3 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped (optional), separated
  • 1 container (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, completely thawed
  • Optional: shredded coconut (1/4 cup), 1 can (15 ounces) fruit cocktail

Instructions

  • Add the undrained pineapple and pudding mix to a large bowl. Stir until smooth. Add in the well-drained mandarin oranges, mini marshmallows, and coarsely chopped pistachios. (if desired, add in fruit cocktail here.) Gently fold together until combined.
  • Using a spatula, gently fold in the thawed frozen whipped topping until all the ingredients are well covered. Cover and refrigerate for 45 minutes to an hour. Serve chilled with a sprinkle of shredded coconut or additional crushed pistachios if desired.

Video

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 213kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 199mg | Potassium: 236mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 409IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 1mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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Creamy Watergate Salad filled with canned fruits, pistachio pudding mix, whipped cream, and crushed pistachios. This recipe is the BEST and so simple! #watergate #salad #fluff #pistachio #dessert #side #salad #thanksgiving #christmas #holiday #potluck #pistachios
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Recipe Rating




10 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Love this fluffy stuff! Jello and pudding salads are such an awesome staple at our family gatherings. This recipe is so good and easy!

  2. Can I make this a couple of days in advance?
    My grandma used to make variations of this for every holiday dinner. The season determined what “flavor” (color) jello she used.

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