Watergate Salad might be a blast from your past or it maybe it’s new to you, but one thing is for certain…it’s absolutely delicious and a great addition to any meal! Much more of a dessert, than a “salad” this green fluffy stuff is full of sweet pineapple, creamy whipped topping, mini marshmallows, crunchy walnuts and green pistachio flavored pudding! I like to add maraschino cherries to mine too.
This recipe really brings back memories for me! It’s a very popular Midwest dish. I remember going to holiday meals as a kid and it always being on the buffet table. I never really knew what was in it, but I knew I loved it! Through the years, I’ve seen it on many salad bars and at potluck spreads. I can never seem to stop myself from wanting to take a big scoop.
It’s a really interesting story as to how this green stuff got it’s name. According to Wikipedia, it’s original name, when it was developed by Kraft back in the 1970’s, was Pineapple Pistachio Delight. However, as the story goes, a Chicago food columnist named it “Watergate Salad” to stir up interest and well, the rest is history. You may also find this dish referred to as “green fluff”, pistachio delight, or “shut the gate salad.”
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The recipe is so super simple to throw together. It’s a basic dump and go sort of thing. Personally, I like to let it set in the refrigerator overnight to soften up the marshmallows and walnuts, but that’s a personal preference of mine. I also like to throw in some maraschino cherries for extra color. Some people like to add mandarin oranges too. You can also use whatever kind of nut you prefer. I like walnuts, but pecans are also perfectly acceptable.
If you’ve never enjoyed this dish before, you’ve got to give it a try! If you are like me, and had it throughout your childhood, it might bring back some fond memories! Either way, it’s a classic recipe worth making for any occasion!
- 20 oz can crushed pineapple, in 100% juice, DO NOT DRAIN!
- 3.4 oz package of pistachio flavored instant pudding mix
- 1 cup miniature marshmallows
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup halved maraschino cherries
- 1 1/2 cups frozen whipped topping thawed
- Combine the undrained crushed pineapple with the dry pudding mix. Mix in the mini marshmallows, chopped walnuts, and maraschino cherries.
- Fold in the whipped topping.
- Refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight
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