Often referred to as Watergate salad, this classic pistachio fluff salad recipe was a mainstay at my house as a kid. Sweet like a dessert, it’s often served as a side dish for special dinners, pot-luck dinners or summer cookouts. Just 5 ingredients needed!
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As a kid, when my mom wanted to whip up something special, she would make this simple and fun Pistachio fluff salad. Made with just 5 ingredients, it can be stirred together in minutes, making for an easy side dish or sweet treat.
Perfect for a pot-luck, cookout or even a side dish for a special dinner, this pistachio fluff salad will also be a hit with a crowd.
What do I need to make pistachio fluff?
- A box of pistachio flavored pudding mix – this is an essential ingredient and will give this fluff salad it’s signature green color.
- Cool Whip – if you prefer, you could also use my Homemade Cool Whip recipe.
- Crushed pineapple – you’ll need a larger 20 oz. can for this recipe.
- Mini marshmallows – these will give the salad its “fluff”.
- Chopped pistachios – these provide the salad with a complimentary crunch and a bit of savory flavor that goes perfectly with the sweet.
For exact ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the post for the recipe. Thanks!
How do I make pistachio fluff salad?
Start by mixing together the pistachio pudding mix and the can of crushed pineapple, including the juice. When mixed together you’ll achieve a bright green mixture.
Next, add in the container of Cool Whip. Cool Whip is found in the frozen foods section of the grocery store. When preparing your fluff salad recipe, make sure the Cool Whip is thawed and not frozen.
Next, fold in the mini marshmallows and the chopped pecans. The best tool for folding in these ingredients is a rubber scraper. It allows you to easily scrape the sides of the bowl while mixing the ingredients.
Ingredient Substitutions and Recommendations:
- Cool Whip – if you would prefer to not use Cool Whip, you could also use homemade stabilized whipped cream.
- Chopped Pistachios – if pistachios are unavailable, you could also substitute chopped pecans or almonds.
- Mini marshmallow – some like to use multi-color marshmallows instead of white, giving the salad a bit more color.
For exact ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions be sure to scroll down to the recipe at the bottom of the post. Thanks!
Frequently asked questions about making a pistachio fluff recipe:
Pistachio nuts are green in color. Pistachio boxed pudding mix was introduced by Kraft foods in 1975, when brightly colored foods, like Jell-o were all the rage. The green color in pistachio pudding mix is artificial.
Legend has it that this pistachio fluff salad was created by a chef at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. in the late 1970’s. The sweet, green salad became wildly popular and was offered as a regular dish on their weekend brunch menu.
Pistachio fluff is made with pistachio pudding mix, whipped topping (Cool Whip), crushed pineapple, mini marshmallows and chopped nuts (either pistachios or pecans.)
Kept refrigerated, pistachio fluff salad will last for 3-4 days refrigerated.
Yes, pistachio salad can be made the day before an event or dinner. Be sure to store in an airtight container and keep the salad refrigerated before serving.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the dry pistachio pudding mix with the can of crushed pineapple, including the juice. Mix well.
- To the pudding mixture, add in the thawed cool whip or Homemade Cool Whip. Mix well with a rubber scraper.
- Add in the marshmallows and chopped pistachios. Mix to combine.
- Refrigerate 1-2 hours before serving. This will give the marshmallows a chance to soften and make the salad extra fluffy.