Watergate Salad is a classic dessert salad that’s popular at picnics and pot lucks throughout the Midwest. A simple mixture of pistachio pudding mix, crushed pineapple, marshmallows, chopped pecans, and whipped topping, it comes together in minutes and is always a crowd favorite!
Growing up, dessert salads in one form or another were nearly ALWAYS on the menu at family functions.
Now. For those who argue that a “salad” made with pudding mix and marshmallows is actually NOT a salad at all… I understand. But growing up in the Midwest, it was just the norm! In fact, it wasn’t a complete meal without one!
I took the basic Watergate Salad recipe and made one simple, important change: I added toasted coconut. Which, if you ask me, makes ALL the difference! It adds just the right amount of flavor and texture to the recipe and gives it that little something extra.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy side dish or dessert to take to your next picnic (or enjoy at home) this one is guaranteed to be a favorite!
- 1 box (3.4 oz.) Pistachio Pudding mix
- 1 can (20 oz.) crushed pineapple
- 1 c. mini marshmallows
- 1/2 c. chopped pecans
- 1/2 c. toasted coconut
- 8 oz. Cool Whip, thawed
- In a large mixing bowl, combine pudding mix, crushed pineapple (undrained), mini marshmallows, chopped pecans, and toasted coconut.
- Stir in Cool Whip.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Before serving, top with additional chopped pecans and toasted coconut as desired.
- Garnish with a maraschino cherry.
🍊 Recipe variations
- Add 1 can mandarin oranges, drained
- Substitute chopped walnuts or peanuts for the pecans
- Omit the toasted coconut
- Use fresh whipped cream in place of Cool Whip
- Add a few drops of green food coloring for a brighter green color
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
🍒 Related recipes
- Pistachio Lush Dessert
- Pistachio Cookies
- Pistachio Pineapple Dip
- Ambrosia Salad
- Grape Salad
- Piña Colada Fruit Salad
- Waldorf Salad
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 238Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 247mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 2gSugar: 23gProtein: 2g