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Watergate Salad Recipe

Step back in time with our Watergate Salad—a classic and charming dessert that brings a sense of nostalgia to your table. This light and fluffy concoction, also known as “Pistachio Delight,” combines creamy textures with a medley of fruit and nuts for a sweet treat that has stood the test of time. Whether you remember it from family gatherings or are discovering it for the first time, this Watergate Salad is a delightful journey to retro dessert heaven.

Exciting Story: The Watergate Salad holds a special place in the hearts of many, with its origins shrouded in mystery and its popularity soaring in the 1970s. The first time we served it, there was a twinkle of recognition in the eyes of those who remembered this whimsical dessert from their childhood. Now, it has become a cherished tradition, a reminder that some flavors are timeless and capable of bringing joy across generations.

Why Watergate Salad Is a Sentimental Favorite:

Selling Points:

  • Creamy Flair: A dreamy combination of whipped topping and pudding creates a lusciously creamy base.
  • Crunchy Surprises: Chopped pecans and sweet pineapple tidbits add delightful crunch and texture to every spoonful.
  • Fruity Ensemble: Mini marshmallows and maraschino cherries bring a burst of sweetness and color to the mix.
  • Effortless Charm: With just a handful of ingredients, this salad is a breeze to whip up, making it perfect for potlucks, picnics, or any gathering.

Notes: For a nut-free version, omit the chopped pecans or substitute them with a nut alternative such as sunflower seeds or shredded coconut.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Can I use a different flavor of pudding mix?

A: While pistachio pudding is traditional for Watergate Salad, you can experiment with other flavors like vanilla or coconut for a unique twist.

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Q: Can I make this salad ahead of time?

A: Yes, Watergate Salad can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. In fact, it often tastes even better after a few hours or overnight as the flavors meld.

Watergate Salad Recipe

Watergate Salad Recipe

Recipe by Alexandra
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Course: All Word Recipes


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  • 1 can 1 (20 oz or 565g) crushed pineapple, undrained

  • 1 package 1 (3.4 oz or 96g) pistachio-flavored instant pudding mix

  • 1 cup 1 (240ml) mini marshmallows

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 (60g) chopped pecans

  • 1 1/2 cups 1 1/2 (360ml) whipped topping (thawed if using frozen)

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 (about 85g) maraschino cherries, halved

  • Optional: Additional chopped pecans and maraschino cherries for garnish


  • In a large bowl, combine the crushed pineapple (with its juice) and pistachio-flavored instant pudding mix. Mix well until the pudding mix is dissolved.
  • Add the mini marshmallows and chopped pecans to the bowl, folding them into the pineapple and pudding mixture.
  • Gently fold in the whipped topping until all the ingredients are evenly combined.
  • Add the halved maraschino cherries and fold them into the mixture.
  • Refrigerate the Watergate Salad for at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to meld and the salad to set.
  • Before serving, give the salad a gentle stir and garnish with additional chopped pecans and maraschino cherries if desired.

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