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Watergate Salad – The Green Stuff

In this post I’m sharing how to make a favorite vintage recipe…Watergate Saladthe Green Stuff.

I’m not sure how I feel about stuff that made its debut after I was born is now considered vintage. That is how this 1980’s era recipe is now labeled. 

Pistachio Pineapple Delight was the recipe, without the mini marshmallows, printed on the side of the Jello pudding box. Around a decade later, the recipe was re-printed by someone else who called it Watergate Salad and BOOM…everybody wanted to make it.

Watergate salad is now widely popular and it shows up quite often during the holidays, luncheons and other social events. 

This popular salad, I use the term salad loosely, may also be known as green goddess or pistachio delight

Green Goddess Pistachio Delight Fluff in a white bowl - Watergate Salad

Retro Watergate Salad

By whatever name you wish to call it, the green stuff is good stuff! I think I prefer it to Ambrosia salad myself. 

What are the Ingredients in a Watergate Salad?

It takes just a few tasty ingredients to make this easy recipe. Here’s what you’ll need: pistachio pudding mix, mini marshmallows, crushed pineapple, Cool Whip, and pecans. 

If you’d like to enhance the greenness, you can also add a few drops of green food coloring, if desired. 

Ingredients and instructions how to make Watergate salad

How Do You Make Watergate Salad?

To prepare this recipe, it is as easy as dumping everything in a mixing bowl and giving it a good stir to combine. Then, cover and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

I like to transfer the Watergate salad to a prettier bowl for company and top with a few pecans so everybody knows there are nuts in it.

Easy Watergate Salad Side Dish Recipe in a White Bowl

The Green Stuff – Pistachio Pineapple Fluff

Let’s Make this Watergate Salad – The Green Stuff!

Yield: 1 Side Dish

Watergate Salad - The Green Stuff

Classic Watergate Salad in a white milk glass bowl

Classic Watergate Salad, a sweet side dish that is popular at gatherings.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 3.4 oz Jell-O Pistachio Pudding Mix
  • 1.5 c Miniature Marshmallows
  • 20 oz Crushed Pineapple (with the juice)
  • 8 oz Whipped Dessert Topping, thawed (like Cool Whip)
  • 1/2 c Chopped Pecans (plus more for garnish, if desired)


  1. Combine all of the ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
  2. Cover and refrigerate one hour or overnight.
  3. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve cold.
  4. Garnish with pecan halves, if desired.

Nutrition Information:


8 to 10

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 177Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 45mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 1gSugar: 20gProtein: 1g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix. Nutrition information may vary depending on which online tool is used. Nutritional data is only 100% guaranteed when tested in a lab.

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More recipes from Julia’s Simply Southern that you might enjoy: Southern Ambrosia Coconut Salad, Waldorf Salad, and Southern Egg Salad for a Crowd. You can also use the search box at the top of this page to search for recipes or use the “recipe index” tab. 

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See this recipe shared at Weekend Potluck and Meal Plan Monday

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Author of Julia's Simply Southern

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Miz Helen

Saturday 22nd of December 2018

This is a wonderful classic. We always have to have the "green salad" on the holiday table. I love your recipe! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with us at Full Plate Thursday! Miz Helen

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