Watergate Salad – Spend with money.

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This Watergate Salad recipe is as easy as it is delicious.

This is a simple pistachio fluff salad topped with crushed pineapple and pecans. This potluck is perfect because it's best made ahead of time.

Watergate salad with whipped cream and a cherry on top

What is Watergate Salad?

Watergate Salad is also known as Pistachio Delight or Shut the Gate Salad. It is a dessert salad named after the Watergate Hotel in Washington, DC where it was served during weekend brunch.

The color and much of the flavor of this green fluff comes from the pistachio pudding mix. As well as holiday meals, this recipe is elegant and nostalgic, like Kool-Aid Pie or Ambrosia Salad.

  • Watergate is a salad. Easy to make And perfect for any holiday table!
  • It is easy to make. A bowl And without heating the oven! Just mix and chill.!
  • This dish is excellent. made ahead of time, Making it potluck perfect!
Combine ingredients to make Watergate Salad, including marshmallows, pistachio pudding, whipped topping, pecans, crushed pineapple, and maraschino cherries.Combine ingredients to make Watergate Salad, including marshmallows, pistachio pudding, whipped topping, pecans, crushed pineapple, and maraschino cherries.

Watergate Salad Ingredients

Some versions of Watergate Salad use cottage cheese or cream cheese, but this recipe is simple and sweet.

Pistachio base – Pistachio pudding mix adds a sweet, nutty flavor and a beautiful green color to Watergate Salad. The whipped topping makes it sweet and tangy.

mix-ins-For sweetness and crunch, I add chopped nuts while crushed pineapple adds a citrus tang.

Variations – Substitute pecans for crushed pistachios or walnuts. Stir in a fruit cocktail for added color.

How to make Watergate Salad

This salad is super easy to make for some old fashioned fluffy fun!

  1. Pineapple juice and pistachio pudding mixAs directed below).
  2. Stir in the mix. Gently fold in the whipped topping, cover and refrigerate.
  3. Garnish with chopped pecans and maraschino cherries for each serving.

Pro tip: Toast the pecans in a small pan and let them cool before adding them to the recipe. Toasting them intensifies their flavor and makes them extra crunchy!

Storing leftovers

Store Watergate Salad, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Freshen it up by folding in some extra whipped cream topping.

Watergate salad can be frozen for up to 3 months, but once thawed it won't be as fast. Leave some space in the container to allow it to expand as it freezes. Once it's melted, stir it and fold in some freshly whipped topping and mini marshmallows before serving.

Side dish or dessert?!

Have you made this Watergate Salad? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

Watergate salad with whipped cream and a cherry on topWatergate salad with whipped cream and a cherry on top

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Watergate Salad

This Watergate Salad is a delicious retro recipe that only takes 5 minutes to prepare.

Preparation time 15 minutes

Cooking time 5 minutes

Winter time 6 hours

Full time 6 hours 20 minutes

Mixing bowls on white backgroundMixing bowls on white background
  • Squeeze the juice from the crushed pineapple into a large bowl, reserving the pineapple in a container. Stir the pudding mixture into the pineapple juice.

  • Stir in crushed pineapple, marshmallows, pecans and coconut, if using. Fold in whipped topping.

  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours and up to 48 hours before serving.

  • Garnish with additional whipped topping and cherries to serve.

Coconut is optional but we love it. This dish is best made ahead of time so the marshmallows soften and the flavors meld.
Leftover Watergate Salad can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Mix well before serving again.
Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Melt, stir, and enjoy.

Calories: 242 | Carbohydrates: 32Yes | Protein: 2Yes | fat: 12Yes | Saturated Fat: 4Yes | Sodium: 173mg | Potassium: 153mg | Fiber: 1Yes | Sugar: 29Yes | Vitamin A: 50IU | Vitamin C: 5.4mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 0.5mg

Nutritional information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Dessert, salad, side dish
the meal American
Watergate salad with whipped cream and cherries on top and a topping.Watergate salad with whipped cream and cherries on top and a topping.
Bowl of Watergate Salad with Whipped Cream and TahrirBowl of Watergate Salad with Whipped Cream and Tahrir
A delicious and flavorful Watergate SaladA delicious and flavorful Watergate Salad
Close up photo with Watergate salad plated and captioned.Close up photo with Watergate salad plated and captioned.



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