This classic Watergate salad recipe can serve as a side dish or dessert. Made in five minutes and then chilled for 5-6 hours, this recipe is made with five ingredients which include pineapple, whipped topping, nuts, pistachio pudding, and marshmallows.
What is Watergate Salad?
This dessert salad recipe came with “1975” on the recipe card. A chef created its base recipe at Watergate Hotel, which gives it its name. The combination of unique flavors and textures is similar to other recipes during that time. It’s a great recipe option for potlucks.
I found this recipe from my grandma’s recipes box; honestly, I had no idea how it would turn out! The ingredients sounded exciting and similar to frozen fruit salad and orange salad so I thought I would give it a try. And it turned out delicious!
- Pistachio Pudding – This ingredient gives the salad its green color and unique flavor.
- Crushed Pineapple – Do not drain the crushed pineapple; this tart addition goes nicely with the sweetness of the marshmallows.
- Small Marshmallows – Using miniature marshmallows adds a soft texture to this recipe.
- Whipped Topping – I used traditional, original cool whip to make this delicious recipe come together. You can however make your own whipped topping. The taste may vary based on your chosen ingredients.
- Chopped Pecans (or other nuts) – You can use whatever nuts you prefer in this recipe, but I enjoy pecans. Walnuts would work as well.
How to Make Water Gate Salad
This recipe really could not be more straightforward! You’re simply going to mix the ingredients and chill it for 5-6 hours. The time it takes to mix everything together should take no longer than five minutes. The wait comes while you wait for the recipe to chill in the refrigerator.
- In a large bowl, mix together the pudding and un-drained crushed pineapple. Stir in the marshmallows and chopped nuts.
- Fold in the cool whip (whipped topping) until mixed well.
- Cool for 5-6 hours.
How to Store Leftovers
- Refrigerator: You can store Watergate Salad in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
- Freeze: You can freeze for up to 3 months in an airtight container. The texture of the marshmallows during the thawing process will change. Because of this, I recommend eating this salad fresh.
Recipes Tips & Tricks
- Fold in the cool whip last to help incorporate all the ingredients together.
- Store in an airtight container (ex., a bowl with good-quality plastic wrap) for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
- Serve in cute bowls and top with extra marshmallows and nuts. You can also garnish with a maraschino cherry on top to add color!
- Add additional ingredients like coconut and chopped pistachios for extra crunch.
- 20 oz crushed pineapple
- 3.4 oz pistachio instant pudding
- 1 cup small marshmallows
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts I use pecans
- 8 oz cool whip
- Mix: In a large bowl, mix together the crushed pineapple and pudding mix. Stir in the marshmallows and nuts.
- Fold: Fold in the cool whip.
- Chill: Let cool, covered, in refrigerator for 5-6 hours before serving.
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More Delicious Desserts Using Whipped Topping (ex., Cool Whip)
- Millionaire Pie (No Bake Dessert!) – very similar recipe made with pineapple and pecans!
- Strawberry Angel Food Cake – a delicious strawberry version with angel food cake.
- Lemon Dessert (aka Lemon Lush) – one of my all-time favorite recipes!
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