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Watergate Salad

This Watergate Salad recipe is a rich, decadent dessert that’s easy to make but hard to stop eating. Pistachio pudding, crushed pineapple, mini marshmallows, chopped nuts, Cool Whip, and cherries come together to create a dish that everyone loves and is almost always at every table during the summer or at special events.

I’ve been a fan of a Watergate Salad since I was a little girl. I called it Green Stuff, but it goes by a whole host of names such as, Pistachio Delight, Green Goddess, Shut The Gate Salad, ( love that one) I’m sure there’s a few more names for this popular salad and the  the fanciest being Watergate Salad, Well, that’s why I’m calling it that! LOL! Whatever you call it, though, it’s delicious. That’s why it’s been a favorite dessert of mine to make g0ing on 30 years. I can’t get enough of it and neither can my family and friends. With its super rich texture and so many delicious fruity flavors and the texture of nuts, it’s no wonder that this is a staple dessert among so many families across the country, including mine!


Watergate Salad

This rich, creamy dessert starts with pistachio pudding. I combine it with crushed pineapple, marshmallows, nuts, and whipped cream to create a decadently fluffy whipped dessert that’s topped with cherries and more nuts. That’s all there is to it. There’s nothing left to say except that it’s ridiculously delicious as it is easy to make!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It uses a handful of simple ingredients.
  • It’s rich, creamy, and full of fruity flavor.
  • It makes a great dessert for any occasion.
  • Everyone always loves it!


It doesn’t take much to make this simple recipe. You’ll find everything at your local grocery store in just a few minutes! This list of ingredients is here, but check the recipe card at the end of the post for exact quantities.

  • Pistachio Jell-O instant pudding mix
  • Crushed pineapple
  • Miniature marshmallows
  • Your favorite chopped nuts
  • Cool Whip
  • Cherries










Making this recipe is so easy! You’ll be in an out of the kitchen in just about 10 minutes.

Step 1: Combine Everything Except Cool Whip

Mix the pudding mix, pineapple, marshmallows, and nuts in a large mixing bowl until combined.

Step 2: Fold in Cool Whip

Gently fold in the Cool Whip until combined.

Step 3: Top and Chill

Top the Watergate Salad with more chopped nuts and cherries and chill for a minimum of one hour. Enjoy!

Substitutions and Variations

  • Use your favorite nuts for this recipe. Chopped walnuts, pecans, almonds, and even whole pistachios work well.
  • Try adding dried fruits such as chopped dates, chopped apricots, or raisins.
  • Try adding thoroughly drained maraschino cherries to the mixture.


  • Large mixing bowl
  • Knife and cutting board (if chopping your own nuts)
  • Spoon
  • Large serving bowl


Refrigerator: Store in an air-tight container for up to 2 days.

Freezer: Store for up to 3 months in an air-tight, freezer-safe container.

Defrost: Place the frozen pistachio delight in the refrigerator overnight.

What to Serve with Watergate Salad

This delicious treat makes a great dessert at parties, especially summer cookouts. It’s also an excellent addition to any potluck or holiday party any time of year. Serve it all on its own as a decadent dessert or make it part of a larger dessert spread and use it as a dip with sweet treats like cookies, bars, and other such dessert items. Great examples include:

More Decadent Dessert Recipes

If you love the rich, creamy texture and sweet flavor of this recipe, then you’ll want to give these a try.


What is Watergate Salad made of ?
Watergate Salad is a dessert salad made with pistachio pudding, canned pineapple, whipped topping, crushed pecans, and marshmallows.

What are Watergate Salad other names again?
This dessert is also called Watergate Salad (its original name), Shut the Gate salad, Green Fluff, Green Goop, Pistachio Fluff, Green Stuff, or Mean Green.


Why is my Watergate Salad watery? 
A Watergate Salad will get watery because of the liquid in the fruit. This is normal and usually happens after a day in the fridge. Just give it a good stir to incorporate everything again.

Do you drain pineapple before adding it to pistachio delight?
DO NOT drain your pineapple before adding it to your pistachio delight recipe mix. The juice from the pineapple is what turns the pudding mix into actual pudding.



Print recipe below…

Watergate Salad

This simple and easy Watergate Salad comes out looking so fancy and tastes light and luscious. A wonderful side dish, dessert, or snack. Enjoy!

Course Dessert, Salad, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword Fluff Salad, Pistachio Delight, Pistachio Fluff Salad, Shut The Gate Salad, Watergate, Watergate Salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Pam


  • 3.4 ounce package pistachio pudding mix, you can use sugar free or regular for this recipe
  • 20 ounce canned crushed pineapple, don't drain the can
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 8 ounce tub Cool Whip or any frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • maraschino cherries for garnish, this is optional


  1. 1. In a large mixing bowl, combine pudding mix, crushed pineapples, pecans, and mini marshmallows. Mix to combine all the ingredients.

    2. Fold in Cool Whip. Gently mix to combine completely.

    3. Transfer to a serving bowl, top with cherries if using and some pecans. Chill for about an hour.



Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you enjoy this creamy delicious Watergate Salad as a side dish, dessert, and anytime you want something light and luscious.

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Please stop back again soon. There’s so many more recipes to see both sweet and savory. New ones too!

Before leaving, scroll up to print out todays featured recipe Watergate Salad and enjoy! 

Bye for now..




















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