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Pistachio Salad is a quick and easy dessert and kids love it!  Serve Pistachio salad for any holiday or to your family anytime for a treat.  Pistachio salad is also called Watergate salad and is an old-fashioned recipe that has been around for many years.

1 (8 ounce) cool whip
1 (3.4) box pistachio instant pudding
2 cups miniature marshmallows                                     
1 (20 ounce can) crushed pineapple with juice, drained (save 1/3 cup of the pineapple juice and add into recipe)
1/2 cup chopped nuts of your choice
1 cup shredded coconut
Stir dry pudding mix into cool whip.   Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Keep refrigerated. Makes 6 to 8 servings. Enjoy!
If you like this recipe, you might also like my recipe for Easy Cranberry Salad.  
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  1. In the South, “salad” just means dessert you eat with your meal. 🙂

  2. I found this salad too dry. I drained the can of crushed pineapple and then used 1/3 cup of the juice as directed. Afterwards, I checked other recipes, and most indicated to use the entire can of pineapple without draining it. I will make that adjustment next time.

    • The Southern Lady says:

      Whatever works for you Pat. I made this salad for Easter by the recipe and everyone that had not had it before raved about it. Not dry at all and I have always made it by the recipe.

  3. Could l substitute whipped cream for cool whip? Thank you.

    • The Southern Lady says:

      I have never tried it with whipped cream. Sorry, I cannot advise you.

      • Patricia Bebb says:

        I would think real whip cream would need to be kept chilled. The cool whip wouldn’t break down as easily. Its so good it probably won’t last long enough to worry about.

  4. I make a fruit salad with this recipe. I use the sugar free pudding and cool whip, cut up all the fruit I can get my hands on with pecans or walnuts. I then binge. (I try not to throw in the marshmallows but lose that battle often.)

  5. Annis McClure says:

    Have never understood why this is called a “salad”. Much too sweet, it is really a dessert!

  6. Cindy Shepard says:

    My mama made this every Thanksgiving and Christmas-we loved it and called it “the green stuff”.

  7. edith richards says:


    • The Southern Lady says:

      I think it is a 16 ounce size, Edith. I don’t have one here to check but I am almost sure it comes in 8 or 16 ounces and this would take the 16 ounce. Of course, the way they are cutting down on sizes of everything, it may be down to 12 by now.

  8. Theresa Creasia -Twist says:

    Love, love,love this dessert ! Thank you for posting it !

  9. How many ounces in regular size can of pineapple? Do you mean the flat can size? Thank you!

  10. Barbara Kinsey says:

    We love Watergate Salad! Try adding coconut for a more tropical taste. Delicious!!!!!

  11. We call it watergate salad too..I am 42 and remember this from childhood. So good! I’m making it this weekend, I forgot all about it. My kids will love it. Thanks for the reminder!

  12. I’m gonna try this recipe this week…my little one LOVES/addicted to Pistachio’s ~I bet she will love this! thanks for sharing…

  13. That looks so good, Judy!

    I bought some pistachio Jello mix the other day to make that stuff we used to have at every church function or picnic. It was the jello stuff, nuts, cheese and some other stuff. I may try this recipe instead. Maybe it is just getting to be spring and we are remembering all the good stuff.

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