Pistachio Salad, also easily known as Pistachio Delight, is an easy, delicious treat that has only five ingredients and takes hardly any time to whip together. Bursting with bright pineapple, creamy cool whip and marshmallow, and earthy pistachio and nut flavors, this is sure to be a crowd pleaser no matter where you take it–whether to a BBQ or a holiday party!
This Pistachio Salad Recipe is a favorite of our family around the holidays. It’s a treat and one of those side dishes that have everyone coming back for seconds. It’s perfect for the Thanksgiving table, holiday table and even a summer potluck.
Pistachio Salad has been around for a very long time. It’s been a potluck and BBQ side dish staple in homes since the 1970s, and has such a fun, retro feel with its bright green color.
It’s so easy and requires no cooking, making it a great option for busy holiday meals. It also comes together in just a few minutes, which means it’s perfect for busy days when you don’t have much time.
If you’ve never heard of Pistachio Salad, the name might be a little misleading. Pistachio Salad is not really a salad–it’s an easy dessert! It’s similar to Ambrosia Salad, but its flavor makes it even more versatile than the bright fruit and coconut in Ambrosia. It’s a yummy, creamy, and sweet dessert.
It has gone by many names over the years– Pistachio Fluff Salad, Watergate Salad, Pistachio Pudding Salad, and even Green Fluff or Green stuff –but the recipe has stayed pretty much the same. Just five ingredients, mix, and chill. That’s it!
This is a great recipe to make ahead of time and will stay fresh and delicious in the refrigerator for several days. Perfect for the busy holiday season (or really, the busy summer season, too)! Again, did I mention that it’s a family favorite?!
If you are looking for some other delicious desserts to add to your holiday potlucks and events, be sure to check out my Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows, Pumpkin Bar Recipe, Maple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls, and Best Ever Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies.
How To Make Pistachio Salad Recipe with only a handful of Ingredients
- Begin by chopping your pecans and draining your can of crushed pineapple.
- Then in a large bowl, combine all ingredients together–cool whip, instant pudding mix, drained crushed pineapple, chopped pecans, and mini marshmallows.
- Stir the ingredients together well, making sure that the pudding mixture is completely dissolved.
- Cover with plastic wrap and place in your fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Let you salad chill, then out take the salad
- Serve and enjoy!
Simple Ingredients in Pistachio Salad Recipe
- Cool Whip – Cool Whip or whipped topping is what gives this recipe the light fluffy texture that makes this so light and tasty! To make it a little healthier, I like to use organic cool whip. To make this dairy free, you can substitute Cocowhip (made with coconut milk).
- Instant Pistachio Pudding – Pistachio pudding mix gives this a bright, nutty flavor and adds to the creaminess. And is what makes this dish such a bright green color!
- Crushed Pineapple – a can of pineapple adds a layer of flavor to this by cutting the sweetness. Just make sure to drain the pineapple juice well so that the salad doesn’t get mushy.
- Chopped Pecans – Chopped pecans add such a fun texture and crunch to this salad. You could also sprinkle the top with some crushed pistachio if you wanted!
- Mini Marshmallows – Mini marshmallows are essential to this recipe. They create the classic texture that has always been part of Pistachio salad.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is it called Watergate Salad?
Pistachio Salad also goes by the name Watergate Salad. It was what this recipe was called when it first rose to fame in the 1970s in America–same timing as the watergate scandal. Apparently it was especially popular in hotels and restaurants in Washington D.C.! In some places throughout the country, the name is still used.
What is Pistachio Pudding made of?
You can find powdered pistachio pudding at your local grocery store. It is a green pudding that gets its color from pistachios and has sugar, cornstarch, and a few other basic pudding ingredients.
Why is Pistachio Pudding green?
Pistachio nuts have a lovely green color to them, and that’s where the color in pistachio pudding comes from! If you want a little deeper green you can always add in a few drops of green food coloring.
Does Pistachio Pudding have Nuts in it?
Pistachio pudding is made from pistachio nuts, so it definitely does have nuts in it. Many times, pistachio pudding also has some almond ingredients as well. You are welcome to add in chopped walnuts along with the pecans!
What can you do with the Leftover Salad?
If you have leftovers, I would advise eating them the next day. You can easily store in an airtight container.
I hope you have a chance to try to this fluffy dessert salad and can add it to your new recipes your family enjoys! I love adding this simple salad to our table for special occasions, Christmas time, or even for simple church dinners! Enjoy!
Pistachio Salad Recipe
- 8 oz Cool whip dethawed (one small container)
- 1 package (3.4 oz) Instant pistachio pudding mix
- 20 oz Crushed Pineapple drained
- ½ cup Chopped pecans
- 1 cup Mini Marshmallows
- Drain the can of pineapple.
- Combine all of the ingredients (including the drained pineapple) into a large bowl. Cool whip, dried pudding mix, drained crushed pineapple, pecans and mini marshmallows.
- Stir the ingredients well, making sure that the pudding mixture is completely dissolved.
- Cover and place into the fridge to chill for a minimum of 30 minutes.