Pistachio Dessert Salad OR Pistachio Fluff!

Pistachio Dessert Salad, Watergate Salad or Pistachio Fluff – whatever you choose to call it – it’s delicious!

Pistachio Dessert Salad or Pistachio Fluff - whatever you choose to call it - it's delicious! | MomOnTimeout.com

Family recipes are the best.  Seriously.  I mean, if we’re talking food that brings back the memories, it’s got to be a family recipe.  Last month my little sister was out visiting and we made the rounds to all the local relatives so they could visit with Ashley.  We met up with my Aunt Lana and had a wonderful visit.

My Aunt Lana surprised all of us girls with a late Christmas present…a compilation of favorite family recipes!! Now, I had totally forgotten about this when she told us around Christmas that she was working on this little project.  Seriously, it couldn’t have come at a better time.  I had SO much fun going through all the recipes and you could hear all three of us going “Oh yeah!  I love that recipe!” or “Oh my gosh!  I’ve always wanted that recipe!”


I’ve already made several of the recipes already and if I hadn’t needed to feed my hungry family before I could get some pics – I would certainly have shared :)  This one I made in secret and snapped a few quick pics while the boys were away.  As soon as they find out there are marshmallows in here…yeah, it’s not going to last long.

Pistachio Dessert Salad or Pistachio Fluff - whatever you choose to call it - it's delicious! | MomOnTimeout.com

I’m sure this salad looks familiar to some of you and hopefully brings back good memories too!  The best part of this recipe is that it uses ingredients that you probably already have on hand.  It’s super quick to make and stays good for days so it’s the perfect recipe to make in advance.  This is definitely one of those recipes that you’re going to want to double for a crowd.  Maybe triple :)

Pistachio Dessert Salad – a.k.a Pistachio Fluff!
Serves 10.
  • 1 4 oz pistachio Jell-O instant pudding mix
  • 1 20 oz can crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows
  • ½ cup chopped nuts (your favorite)
  • 1 8 oz container Cool Whip (I used lite) - thawed
  1. Combine pudding mix, pineapple (with juice), marshmallows and nuts in a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Blend in Cool Whip and chill until ready to serve.

What are some of your favorite recipes that show up time and again at family functions?

Pistachio Dessert Salad or Pistachio Fluff - whatever you choose to call it - it's delicious! | MomOnTimeout.com

More recipes our family loves:


Veggie Crescent Bites


Fruit Basket Mini Sugar Cookie Pizzas

Carrot Cake

To-Die-For Carrot Cake


Mom On Timeout Signature

Connect with me!

Follow on Bloglovin



  1. Jamie @ Love Bakes Good Cakes says:

    Seriously, one of my favorite summer dishes! I think every family had this in one form or another :)

    • Yes! Thanks Jamie!

      • My Mom has been making this for as long as I can remember.. In her recipe book (from the 1960’s) it’s called Watergate Salad. No matter the name, i love the stuff

    • OMG! This stuff was a staple at our house growing up! We always called it “The green stuff” as in…hey, can you make some of the green stuff…Mom, Billy ate all of the green stuff…what are you bringing? I’m bringing the green stuff!

  2. My sister did a book of family recipes a couple of years ago at Christmas. It is such a great book and each year we add new recipes to it! This version of this recipe using pistachios is really nice! I have only had it with orange and pineapple!
    Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet recently posted..Blueberry Fritters

  3. I love fluff salads like this, definitely want to give this a try. Thanks for sharing!

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow
    Happy Valley Chow recently posted..Deconstructed Cuban Pork Sandwich

  4. This sounds fabulous!
    Melanie @ Just Some Salt and Pepper recently posted..Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream

  5. This looks so good. I love fluff salads, so I bet this one will be amazing!

  6. We make this salad all the time, although I think it’s really called Watergate Salad. The recipe is just the same…I think it’s on the pistachio jello pudding box …

  7. My family always had something similar at Easter dinner and bridal/baby showers… only it was made with lime jello, cool whip, cream cheese, and crushed pineapple. So weird, but so good! (I mean, how is that called “salad???”) Every time I taste it though, it brings me right back… :)
    Allie | Baking A Moment recently posted..Simply Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes

  8. My grandma always used to make a salad like this – this post brings back such good memories! Thanks for sharing this, Trish!
    Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girl recently posted..What’s in Your Kitchen Wednesday

  9. I can remember eating something like this at my Grandpa’s Christmas party each year! Looks great!

  10. I don’t think I’ve ever attended a family holiday without a pistachio fluff dessert salad. Your recipe for it looks great!

  11. LOVE this stuff – so simple and so good!
    Sarah @ Miss Candiquik recently posted..Black Bean Truffles

  12. This stuff is sooo good! Been making it forever. Also known as Watergate Salad.

  13. We’ve always called it pistachio jello pudding. It’s the dish my dad always has to make for family get togethers. Ours has everything that yours has, but the pineapples are tidbits and we also add mandarin orange slices. It’s delicious!

  14. Sandra Ruper says:

    We add a can or 2 of drained mandarin oranges and use prepared Dream Whip in place of cool whip. We have always called it Fluff. Amazingly delicious!

  15. Linda Ashley says:

    Our family makes this recipe with cottege cheese instead of cool whip. Not as sweet, but still delicious.

  16. My family have been making this for years I make it on thanksgiving. We call it Watergate salad.

  17. We make this but with mandarin oranges, walnuts and the jarred red cherries like you use for ice cream sundies

  18. My Grandma called it pineapple fluff. She did what you have in recipe but the marshmallows were fruit flavored and she added fruit cocktail and maraschino cherries. It’s the bomb!

  19. We used to make this, minus the marshmallows. Put it in a graham cracker crust. It was pistachio pie. We always made it at holidays.

  20. Been wanting to make this for YEARS, but never got around to it. Finally bought the stuff, but I’m having a bit of a dilemma: I’ve seen the recipe on the pudding box, which calls for the pineapple to be undrained. I’ve seen other various sites say drained or undrained; which is it?? I would like to double the recipe, but using ALL that juice, wouldn’t it make it too runny? I found another website that mentions reserving the juice and use only as needed to make it moist… but… you see what I mean? I want this first crack at it to be a success and not a disaster. I loved this stuff(my aunt used to make it) and I want my family to love it too.

    • Erm.. sorry about the avatar.. I forgot I still had that over at Gravatar as my default avvie. (it’s now hopefully changed)

      • Susan N I make this every year, just like my mom did, she and I drain it and than add a little juice, it just depends on how you like it. You are over thinking it, for this is an easy salad to make. I have even used other pudding flavors and other fruits.

        • Susan N. says:

          Thanks Kim. I guess I *was* “overthinking” as you say, but in the end I did just that, drain it out and add some back(just a little, actually) and it turned out fine :) My family ate it up! I guess I’m nervous about doing things,especially things my family never had before(really), and wanted them to like this. I hadn’t had this in years, my hubby says he doesn’t remember ever having it and my daughter, never. So. I may try other ideas, now that I’m not so nervous!

        • Thank you for helping out Kim!

    • Glad you got it all worked out Susan!

  21. Your pistachio dessert salad, just like my mom’s we ate it with the regular meal not for dessert though, still a family favorite

  22. I made this for Easter dinner yesterday, and it is AMAZING! It was a total hit with our family – So glad I found you on Pinterest!

  23. Isn’t this the same recipe that was called Watergate salad several years ago?

  24. Whitney says:

    Just made this for Memorial Day with my kiddos. They are gonna love this!

  25. This is Watergate Salad. We have it every holiday but to be honest I could eat this all year round…so yummy and light.

  26. In my family, we call this “green stuff”, we also have pink stuff and orange stuff, but green stuff is the favorite.

  27. So good! Not too sweet. I used walnuts this time but I think next time I’ll use pistachios.

  28. We call this troll pudding! When I was on my own, I made it for thanksgiving dessert because it’s lighter than more pie!

  29. Dianna Phillips says:

    This is what I was told as a child. I love this fluff.

    Pistachio Salad got its name from President Richard Nixon. It was during the Watergate Hearings. This was his favorite salad to eat.

  30. Your recipes sound fabulous, but we call it Princess Pudding and make it from strawberry jello, chopped strawberries, marshmallows, flaked coconut, and Cool Whip folded in gently. Then we frost it with swirls of Cool Whip and plop choice straw berried and several bottled cherries on top. Since it’s pink, it’s great for Valentine’s Day.

  31. I just made this for our families Easter and it tastes fantastic! Thank you for sharing!

  32. This sounds delicious, thanks for sharing:)
    I don’t eat Marshmallows.Any suggestions what I can replace Marshmallows with?

    Your cherry fluff had condensed milk in it. Will it be tastier if I add condensed milk to this as well?

    Thanks again:)

  33. i would like to thank you trish for sharing the pineapple cake receipe with ee. I made it and it was delicious! everyone loved it! thanks again

  34. Sour cream works great in the pistachio fluff if you don’t have Cool Whip, you might need to add a tablespoon or two of milk if it’s too stiff.

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge