Watergate Salad

If you’re craving something sweet and unique, a Watergate Salad is always a great idea. This dessert consists of delicious ingredients including pistachio pudding, pineapple, marshmallows and chopped pecan. If you have a sweet tooth, prepare it for a tasty ride!

Watergate Salad in a large glass bowl, topped with almonds and maraschino cherries, sitting on a blue patterned tea towel

I can never deny a good dessert! Whenever I’m done a good meal, I definitely have sweet cravings, and my homemade Watergate Salad always hits the spot.

Cover images for three of Aileen Clark's Cookbooks with the words "order my cookbooks today!".

Want More Dessert Ideas?

If your family adores desserts as much as mine does, here are a few fruity salads in my recipe repertoire that I am very proud of:

Winter Fruit Salad

Triple Berry Fruit Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

Creamy Fruit Salad Recipe

Honey Lime Fruit Salad

A bowl of Watergate Salad, garnished with chopped almonds, next to a large bowl filled with more, sitting on a patterned tea towel.

Watergate Salad Origin

So, why is this pistachio salad called “Watergate Salad,” anyway? The Watergate Salad origin is obscure, but the sweet dessert dates all the way back to the early 1900s. According to The Salt, the pistachio salad was not invented at the Watergate Hotel (much like how the Waldorf Astoria Hotel gave us the Waldorf Salad).

It is believed that The Watergate Salad came to life during the rise in popularity of gelatin. The gelatin boom brought on tons of new recipes, including this pistachio pudding salad.

Bird’s eye view of Pistachio Pudding Salad, garnished with chopped almonds and maraschino cherries
A hand holding up a bowl of Pistachio Pudding Salad with a gold spoon

What is a Watergate Salad, Anyway?

This recipe is far from your leafy, traditional salad. On the contrary! Also known as a Pistachio Pudding Salad or Pistachio Salad, this dessert is a mixture of pistachio pudding, pineapple, marshmallows, and Cool Whip, topped with a generous amount of chopped almonds and maraschino cherries.

Can I Substitute Any Ingredients?

To stay true to the classic recipe, I recommend using the ingredients that are recommended in my recipe (be sure to scroll down to my recipe card for the full step-by-step instructions!). However, feel free to choose a different brand of pistachio pudding if that’s what’s available to you. You may also use canned pineapple pieces/chunks.

How to Store Leftovers

This dessert is best stored in the refrigerator (it does not freeze very well) in an airtight container for up to five days.

How Long Does It Take to Whip-Up?

The best part about Watergate Salads is that they’re incredibly easy to put together. Prep time is only about 10 to 15 minutes. For the full step-by-step instructions, just take a look below for all of the details!

Bird’s eye view of Pistachio Pudding Salad, garnished with chopped almonds and maraschino cherries

Watergate Salad

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

I can never deny a good dessert! Whenever I’m done a good meal, I definitely have sweet cravings, and my homemade Watergate Salad always hits the spot.

Ingredients

  • 1 (3.4-ounce) package pistachio Jell-O instant pudding mix
  • 1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 (8-ounce) container Cool Whip
  • 1/4 cup maraschino cherries

Instructions

    • Combine pudding mix, crushed pineapple, mini marshmallows, and pecans in a large bowl. Mix well. Ingredients laid out on a wooden table to make a Pistachio Salad Folding in ingredients that make up a Watergate Salad
    • Fold in the cool whip and mix. Ingredients laid out on a wooden table to make a Pistachio Salad
    • Top with a cherries, serve, and enjoy. A serving of Watergate Salad in a large glass bowl on top of a blue patterned tea towel
    Nutrition Information
    Yield 8 Serving Size 1
    Amount Per Serving Calories 116Total Fat 6gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 1mgSodium 57mgCarbohydrates 17gFiber 1gSugar 11gProtein 1g

    Nutrition information is an estimate.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Tag us in your recipe creations using @aileencooks and #aileencooks.

    If you’re craving something sweet and unique, a Watergate Salad is always a great idea. This dessert consists of delicious ingredients including pistachio pudding, pineapple, marshmallows and chopped pecan. If you have a sweet tooth, prepare it for a tasty ride!

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.