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Making this pistachio salad is quick, easy, and cheap. It doesn’t matter if you call it watergate salad, pistachio fluff, or pistachio fruit salad, they’re all names for the same delicious dessert! 

This shot shows the watergate salad in a bowl with smaller serving bowls ready and waiting to be filled.Right now the way to my heart is pistachio salad. Remember when I used to think pistachio things were just for old people? Well, now I’m officially an old person. Pistachio salad all the way!

A view of a serving bowl full of pistachio fluff waiting to be enjoyed.The salad kick I’m on lately is strong(hello, Cucumber Salad I posted last week). I love making this pistachio fluff style fruit salad. It’s cheap and easy to make, so easy, done in 5 minutes kind of easy, which makes it a winner for any party, gathering, or event.

I also just now realized I hardly ever cook/bake with pistachios so that’s pretty sad. There is my Pistachio Pasta which I made from a cookbook Mr. Wishes got me. I also have my Pistachio Muffins….which….YUM.

Here we see a bowl of the pistachio fruit salad ready to be enjoyed and the larger bowl full in the background as well.Another reason to love this delicious dessert recipe is the fact that there’s only a handful of ingredients in the recipe and it takes almost no time to whip up. It’s also really nice to bring a completely empty dish home from a party or BBQ…no need to worry about leftovers, there won’t be any! The creaminess, ugh. It’s absolutely wonderful.

Another look at the finished pistachio salad in a dish ready to be eaten.I feel like every family has some kind of pistachio salad or watergate salad recipe floating around. It’s a staple dessert recipe all year long and thanks to simple ingredients it’s also something anyone can make, no matter how much or how little kitchen experience you have! 

Here we see a final shot of the pistachio salad in a bowl ready to be served.

Where does watergate salad get its name? 

It’s rumored that a Chicago based food editor renamed the salad after it was debuted by Kraft Kitchens to generate interest. The name certainly stuck and there are still folks around today who only know this pistachio salad as “Watergate salad”. 

This image shows the last step of adding some pistachios on top to finish the salad.

What is in this watergate salad recipe? 

This simple but delicious fruity fluff salad has just seven ingredients. Most of them are probably already hanging around the house. If not, they’re easy to get and there’s nothing fancy included. You can also add your favorite ingredients if you aren’t seeing them in this list. 

Here we see three bowls full of the watergate salad recipe ready to be served up and devoured.This pistachio salad recipe is such a classic that a lot of family recipes also include other chopped nuts, more cherries, or even cottage cheese! Feel free to play with the ingredients and make this watergate salad recipe your own! 

Here we see the ingredients for pistachio fruit salad laid out before we begin the recipe.

  • 1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple (with juice, do not drain)
  • 1 (3 ounce) package instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, completely thawed
  • 2 large bananas, sliced thin
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1 (15.25 ounce) can fruit cocktail, drained
  • 1 (11 ounce) can mandarin orange slices, drained

This image shows the first step in the recipe for watergate salad.

How to make pistachio salad: 

The recipe for pistachio fluff is as simple as the ingredients list. It’s just a few steps and you’ll have an amazing dessert that everyone will love. Let’s dive in and see just how easy this pistachio fruit salad is to make. 

Here we see where the pistachio fluff recipe gets its green color.

  1. Pour the instant pudding into a large mixing bowl.  Add crushed pineapple (with juice), and mix well. The juice is going to help mix up the pudding so don’t skip that part or drain your pineapple! 
  2. Mix in whipped topping. Stir in bananas, marshmallows, fruit cocktail, and mandarin oranges. 
  3. Cover, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

Once the whipped topping is added the salad becomes perfectly creamy and light.It’s just that simple! Keep in mind that you will want to give it plenty of time to chill. Making it in advance is better than having it be warm in my opinion! Honestly, the texture will be best once it has time to chill and for the flavors to all pull together so let this easy recipe sit after it’s finished before you serve it. 

Now we're adding in more fruit so that this watergate salad recipe is packed with textures and flavors.That may be easier said than done, I know, everyone will be chomping at the bit to get a dish of this tasty dessert! 

Can I make pistachio fluff in advance? 

You can definitely make this watergate salad in advance. It lasts for several days in the refrigerator so feel free to make a batch ahead of time if you know you’ll be needing a delicious and crowd pleasing dessert. 

Here we see the bananas being added to the pistachio salad recipe.Tip: If you will NOT be serving the pistachio fruit salad right away, slice and add bananas at the last minute so they don’t turn brown/get mushy.

Can I double this pistachio fruit salad recipe? 

If you are feeding a crowd I would definitely suggest you double or even triple the recipe. It will get eaten, for sure, no doubt about it. Serve it alongside my Grilled Strip Steaks with Herb Compound Butter. Yum! 

Everything needs a good stir to combine all the delicious ingredients in the pistachio fluff salad.The other nice thing is that making a huge batch of this tasty pistachio salad doesn’t cost very much and the extra servings add no extra work to the recipe itself. I like to keep the ingredients on hand so I can whip up a batch of watergate salad whenever I know we need a quick dessert. 

A close up view of the pistachio salad before it's served up.Everything except the bananas can be kept on hand in the pantry or the freezer, add these items to your next grocery list and give this recipe a try, you won’t be disappointed!

Now this is all I want to eat.

A top down look at three servings of the pistachio salad ready to be enjoyed.

5.0 from 5 reviews
Pistachio Fluff Fruit Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
It doesn't matter if you call it pistachio salad, pistachio fluff, or watergate salad, this delicious treat is always a hit!
Ingredients
  • 1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple (with juice, do not drain)
  • 1 (3 ounce) package instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, completely thawed
  • 2 large bananas, sliced thin
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1 (15.25 ounce) can fruit cocktail, drained
  • 1 (11 ounce) can mandarin orange slices, drained
Instructions
  1. Pour the instant pudding into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add crushed pineapple (with juice), and mix well.
  3. Mix in whipped topping. Stir in bananas, marshmallows, fruit cocktail, and mandarin oranges.
Tip: if NOT serving right away, slice and add bananas at the last minute so they don’t turn brown/get mushy.
  1. Cover, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Enjoy!

Making this pistachio salad is quick, easy, and cheap. It doesn’t matter if you call it watergate salad, pistachio fluff, or pistachio fruit salad, they’re all names for the same delicious dessert! 

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