Easy Watergate Salad (5-ingredients)

A delightful and refreshing side dish, perfect for enhancing your Christmas or Thanksgiving feast, this Pistachio Pineapple Salad, often fondly known as “Watergate Salad,” brings a unique blend of flavors to your holiday table. The name “Watergate Salad” has an interesting origin, as it shares its birth year of 1976 with the introduction of pistachio pudding by Jello, giving this dish a special place in culinary history.


  • 1 box of pistachio pudding
  • 20 oz can of undrained pineapple
  • 2 cups of mini marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 container (8 oz) of thawed Cool Whip


Combine the Basics: In a large mixing bowl, blend the dry pistachio pudding mix with the undrained crushed pineapple. Ensure that they are well mixed.

Add Texture: Gently stir in the mini marshmallows and chopped pecans, distributing them evenly throughout the mixture.

Incorporate Cool Whip: Carefully fold in the thawed Cool Whip until the mixture is uniformly combined. Avoid overmixing to maintain a fluffy texture.

Chill: Place the salad in the refrigerator to chill. This step is crucial as it allows the flavors to meld together beautifully.

Serving Suggestions: This versatile dish can be served in various ways:

  • As a Side Dish: Present it alongside main courses during your festive meals. Its unique flavor complements a wide range of dishes.
  • As a Dessert: For a more dessert-like presentation, serve individual portions in clear glass mugs or cappuccino cups. Garnish each serving with a maraschino cherry for an added touch of elegance.

Tips and Variations

  • Doubling the Recipe: This recipe can be easily doubled to accommodate large family gatherings.
  • Customization: Feel free to add or substitute ingredients based on your personal preferences or dietary needs.

Enjoy this delightful blend of sweet and nutty flavors, a perfect addition to your holiday celebrations!

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