Watergate salad also called pistachio salad, is one of those sweet salad recipes that makes a fantastic dessert salad or one of the most totally unique Easter side dishes. Its one of those Easter recipes that seems like it’s been around forever, but it really just made its debut in the 1970s.
This fun and fruity salad are like the adult version of frog eye salad and its fantastic for summer get-togethers. Of course, strawberry cheesecake salad is always a hit too. It’s really easy to throw together and who doesn’t love cheesecake?
Let’s check out this refreshing Watergate salad! Make room for more desserts!
- Sweet and fruity
- Refreshing and simple
How To Make Watergate Salad Recipe
Serving up this fresh and fruity salad is crazy easy. Simply mix everything together and chill it in the fridge overnight. Garnish and enjoy it.
Kraft Foods originally debuted Watergate salad as a pistachio salad because of the instant pistachio pudding mix. Simply blend everything together and slide it in the fridge overnight. Then garnish and enjoy!
Pudding – the recipe won’t work if you make the pudding first. I tried it once, and it was not a success. Instead, pour the powdered pudding mix into the bowl. There’s no milk in the recipe.
Pineapple – As you know, there are two types of pineapple in stores. Pineapple can be canned in its own juice or it can be canned in syrup. Steer clear of the pineapple packed in syrup. Not only will you be filling your dessert with useless sugar, but it’ll also turn out way too sweet. Instead, use the pineapple packed in its own juices.
Fresh pineapple doesn’t work in this recipe. Pineapple has enzymes that won’t react well with the whipped topping, and you’ll be left with a soupy mess. Stick with crushed, canned pineapple packed in pineapple juice and you’ll be just fine.
Ingredient Brands – I’ve found that, even though this is meant to be an inexpensive recipe, I’ve had better success with the name brands. There’s just something that tastes different about store-brand pistachio pudding or whipped cream. It’s an affordable recipe, so I recommend you go for gold and buy name brand. Try Dole pineapple and Cool Whip.
Nuts – you can technically use any type of nuts that you’d like. But I’ve tried a few, including walnuts, and my family didn’t care for it. The taste of the walnuts was too earthy for the salad, and I didn’t find that it was successful. But fresh pecans? Oh, heaven.
Tools to Make
Whipping up this simple salad doesn’t require any special tools. It is best, however, to let all the ingredients mingle in one big bowl. Just cover it with cling wrap and slide it into the fridge.
How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?
This refreshing salad is easy to store and difficult to keep around. It’s so yummy it gets gobbled up quickly. I like to store mine in the serving bowl covered in saran wrap. That way I can just pull it out, garnish and serve.
Can You Freeze This?
Unfortunately, the pudding and fruit just don’t freeze well but it only takes about 5 minutes to whip up this salad making it perfect for those last-minute afterthoughts, too. Holiday party tomorrow? No problem! Afternoon potluck? Gotcha covered!
Make Ahead Tips
One of the things I like best about this salad is that it’s so easy to make in a pinch. Whether you’ve got a school event, a potluck, or a last-minute dinner invitation, it’s easy to toss together this salad recipe.
The key, however, is to make it the night before. Prepare the salad, cover it in plastic wrap, then let it sit overnight in your refrigerator. If you prepare this salad the same day, it will end up tasting like unprepared pudding. Remember, there’s no milk. So you’re depending on the whipped topping to bring the flavors of the fruit and pudding mix together.
Wait until just before serving to add some of your nuts and the cherries. Your nuts will stay crunchy and your cherries won’t change the color of your Watergate salad if you add them right before you serve your guests.
This insanely de-lish Watergate salad is ideal for summer potlucks and backyard barbecues. It serves well in a large glass bowl garnished with pecans and cherries. You can also serve it as a retro dessert in some pretty little glasses or pudding cups. The possibilities are endless.
Tweaking this totally simple Watergate salad is really easy. Here’s a few tasty suggestions.
- Swap out the pudding for sour cream and add some shredded coconut for a beautiful ambrosia salad.
- A few simple swaps and the addition of lime jello will give you a classic seafoam salad perfect for warm-weather get-togethers.
- Use mayo and veggies instead of pudding and fruit to make a sweet Hawaiian salad that will knock your socks off.
- Swap the pudding for cream cheese and add cranberries to make a perfectly balanced cranberry salad that tastes like a million bucks.
Watergate Salad Recipe
- 1 (3.4-ounce) box Instant Pistachio Pudding
- 1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple drained with 1/2 cup juice reserved
- 1 cup miniature marshmallows
- 1 cup pecans Chopped~Divided
- 1 3/4 cups frozen whipped topping thawed
- Maraschino cherries
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together Pistachio pudding, drained pineapple, 1/2 cup reserved pineapple juice, marshmallows, and 1/2 cup pecans.
- Fold whipped topping. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- To serve, sprinkle top of salad with remaining cup pecans and top with a Maraschino cherry.
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Here are some other tasty side dishes you may enjoy.
- Pineapple Casserole – A sweet and savory twist to the classic casserole.
- Brussel Sprout Salad – Delicious nutrition and a truckload of antioxidants.
- Chickpea Salad – Colorful and refreshing with a zesty dressing to balance it out.
- Kale Quinoa Salad – A fresh simple salad with a beautiful pop of color.
- Dill Potato Salad – Light and scrumptious with aromatic undertones.
Watergate salad is a fresh and fruity retro recipe that delights and satisfies. Plus, it’s just so surprisingly easy to throw together. You are going to love the refreshing flavor of this beautiful salad that will make you potluck famous as it gets requested over and over again.