This Pistachio Fluff recipe is one of my favorite summer desserts. You may also have seen this pistachio salad recipe called Watergate salad. It goes by several different names but the end result is an easy dessert that starts with a box of pistachio flavored instant pudding mix.
This fluff salad is a delicious summer dessert that has fruit, marshmallows, pecans, and a tub of Cool Whip topping.
It’s so easy to make that I make sure I always have the ingredients on hand. It’s one of my most requested recipes for summer barbecues and potlucks.
What do you need to make Pistachio Fluff?
It couldn’t be easier to make this summer fruit salad recipe. All you need is:
- crushed pineapple in juice
- pistachio flavor instant pudding mix
- chopped pecans
- thawed Cool Whip whipped topping
- optional green food coloring
How do you make Watergate salad?
You simply combine the pistachio instant pudding mix with the can of crushed pineapple. Then, you add the mini marshmallows and the chopped pecans. You can leave out the pecans if you want to.
But, we love the added crunch they give to this recipe. Then, stir in the thawed Cool Whip topping. To thaw the Cool Whip, keep it in the refrigerator for four hours.
Finally, add the food coloring if desired.
It does need to be refrigerated for at least an hour before you serve it. So, keep that in mind when you are planning dinner.
Pistachio salad recipe with cottage cheese
I’ve seen several different variations of this Pistachio Fluff recipe. One of them calls for adding a 16-ounce tub of cottage cheese to the recipe.
If you want to do that, you certainly can. It helps add protein to the dish and makes it more like a salad and less like a dessert.
What about Pistachio Fluff with cream cheese?
Yes, there is a version of this Pistachio salad recipe that contains cream cheese. It has a slightly different texture but is every bit as good.
You will just want to add one block (8 ounces) of softened cream cheese.
You will add it to the instant pistachio pudding mix and the crushed pineapple before you add the thawed container of Cool Whip.
What about WW Pistachio Fluff?
If you’re following Weight Watchers and want something that is a little bit more in line with their plan, you can simply add a tub of sugar-free Cool Whip and a box of sugar-free instant pistachio pudding.
That will help cut the sugar content. This will make for a slightly more healthy pistachio salad recipe.
There really are a lot of other variations of this recipe. I have seen somewhere they leave out the mini marshmallows and instead add a can of mandarin oranges.
Some recipes use the colored mini marshmallows instead of the white ones. And, I have seen a cherry pistachio fluff that adds in sliced Maraschino cherries.
A Pistachio Fluff with cherries would have a festive look that would be great for the holidays with the green and red.
I’ve also seen variations on the type of nuts you use.
I’ve used pecans in this recipe. But, you could use chopped walnuts. Or, you can use pistachio nuts to match it with the pudding flavor.
Can I make this ahead of time?
Yes, Pistachio fluff is best when it’s refrigerated for at least an hour. But, it really is best when it’s refrigerated overnight.
So, if you want to make this recipe up the day before, you can. Just cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave it in the refrigerator overnight. Give it a quick stir before you serve it.
How can I store leftovers?
We never have any leftovers to store. It’s just that popular whenever we bring this dish.
But, if you do have leftovers, you can return them to the refrigerator and keep them covered for three to five days. Just stir it before serving.
More dessert salad recipes
If you love desserts like this Pistachio Fluff, you might want to try a few of these other recipes.
- Summer Berry Cheesecake Salad
- Strawberry Pineapple Ambrosia Salad
- Millionaire Cheesecake Salad
- Hawaiian Cheesecake Salad
With love from our simple kitchen to yours.
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Pistachio Fluff Watergate Salad + Video
- 20 ounce can crushed pineapple in juice, do not drain
- 3.4 ounce box pistachio flavor instant pudding mix
- 1 cup mini marshmallows
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 8 ounces thawed Cool Whip whipped topping
- optional green food coloring
- Reserve 1/2 cup of pineapple juice from the crushed pineapple can.
- In a large bowl combine the pineapple in its remaining juice with the pudding. Mix until well combined and all of the pudding has dissolved.
- Stir in marshmallows and pecans.
- Fold in the whipped topping.
- If it needs more liquid add the reserved juice a tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency. Add a couple drops of green food coloring if desired to get a darker green color
- Refrigerate at least 1 hour, but it is best overnight (6-8 hours).
- Serve with a dollop of cool whip and a maraschino cherry.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
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