Watergate Salad

Watergate salad in a serving dish with a cherry and pecans on top.

Watergate salad is a fluff made with pistachio pudding, whipped topping and packed with pecans , pineapples and marshmallow. Growing up on the 1970’s this was a staple at our house at every summer cook out all the way to our holiday tables. If it was a more formal occasion this went into a nice serving bowl , if it was a less formal occasion it came straight out of the fridge onto the table. Literally no occasion was complete without this green fluff.   It is more like a dessert and that is how I serve it now but back then we mixed in with the side dishes. I guess in the 1970’s we tried to convince ourselves that is was a salad and could be served as a side, lol.  Over the years we have made many different “salads” like my Pina Colada Fluff.

There is nothing better than a dump and go recipe . This recipe is not only delicious it is super easy to make. I really think this is why this recipe has stood the test of time. It is so good , easy to make and rather inexpensive. I say to chill this 3-4 hours , that’s how long it takes to get that fluffiness to it. Plus the marshmallows absorbs all of the flavors. I find making it the night before works well.

Commonly asked Questions:

  Do I have to chill it 3-4 hours?

Yes and no.  Yes if you want it to have the fluffiness to it but if you are in a hurry it can be chilled for less time.

Can I make it the night before?

Yes I usually make this the night before

Can I use the store brand ingredients?

Absolutely. This will not change the results

Can I use a different nut than pecans ?

Yes , I have seen people use wal-nuts or even pistachios

Can I use sugar free or light ingredients?

Yes , my mother used to do this all the time


Over the years I have heard this called many things . No matter what you call it , I call it delicious !! Here are a few other names for Watergate salad I have heard over the years.

  • Green stuff
  • Green Fluff
  • Green goop
  • Pistachio Delight
  • Mean Green


What do you need to make Watergate Salad:

  • Instant Pistachio Pudding
  • Crushed pineapple with the juice
  • Whipped topping
  • pecans
  • marshmallows
  • Mixing bowl
  • Saran Press and seal or a covered bowl


Whipped topping , chopped pecans , a can of crushed pineapple , pistachio pudding and a cup of marshmallows

This dish starts with very simple ingredients that won’t break the bank.


Crushed pineapple and pistachio pudding combined in a bowl

In a mixing bowl combine the pudding mix and crushed pineapple with it’s juice. Mix until the pudding is dissolved.


Adding whipped topping and pecans to the mix

Fold in the whipped topping and pecans .

The Watergate salad right before the marshmallows are added

Mix until it is well combined . You don’t want to see green or white streaks.

The Watergate salad with the marshmallows are added

Fold in mini marshmallows.

Watergate salad ready to be chilled

Cover and chill for at least 3-4 hours.

Watergate salad in a serving bowl with pecans and cherries on top

Depending on the occasion this can be placed into a serving bowl and garnished with a few pecans and a cherry.

2 serving dishes of Watergate salad with pecans and cherries on top

If you like this recipe check out these:


Watergate Salad

4.85 from 13 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Chill 4 hours
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 6 People


  • 1 3.4 oz box Pistachio Pudding Instant
  • 1 20oz can Crushed Pineapple with juice
  • 1 8oz Whipped Topping thawed
  • 3/4 cup Pecans chopped
  • 2 cups Mini Marshmallows
  • Cherries and chopped pecans to garnish optional


  • In a mixing bowl combine the pudding mix and crushed pineapple with it's juice. Mix until the pudding is dissolved.
  • Add the whipped topping and pecans
  • Mix until well combined
  • Fold in marshmallows
  • Cover chill for 3-4 hours -even better if overnight
  • This is optional but you can garnish with chopped pecans and cherries


Keyword Watergate Salad
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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1 year ago

Always interesting to find a new recipe I’ve never heard of. I laughed hard when you said, “alternative recipes names include…green goop!” Haha looks fun and thanks for sharing.

1 year ago

5 stars
From it looks, you know already that it is tasty! Will have this again, thanks a lot for sharing this super delicious watergate salad! Loved it!

1 year ago

5 stars
My sister would love this salad, anything pistachio flavored and she’s thrilled. This would also be great for a kid’s summer party.

1 year ago

5 stars
Oh my! The kids are going to love this salad.

1 year ago

5 stars
Thank you for the tastes from my childhood memories. Such and easy recipe and delicious, the whole family loved it.

Patricia @ Grab a Plate

I can’t believe I’ve never had this classic treat! I see it from time to time and always think, “I’ve got to make it!” I’m going to print this recipe and try it soon! Thanks for the inspiration!

1 year ago

5 stars
We totally called this recipe pistachio fluff. haha. It’s such an easy recipe though and fun for the kids!

Laura Arteaga Amorós

5 stars
Absolutely delicious! What a treat for the family during holiday, we really enjoyed this recipe and we’ll be making often during summer!

1 year ago

5 stars
Yum! You had me at marshmallows and pistachio. This recipe is a keeper for sure!!

Moop Brown
Moop Brown
1 year ago

5 stars
I’ve never of this recipe before and am intrigued and looking forward to trying it. I also love that it has pistachio in it as well.