Pistachio Fluff Salad Recipe

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Call it a dessert or salad, Pistachio Fluff (also called Watergate Salad) is made in minutes from simple ingredients you already have on hand!

Pistachio Fluff salad in vintage bowl and spoon

Nothing says home cooking like a church cookbook! Some of my family’s favorite recipes come from the tattered, smudged pages of the church where I grew up.

On one of the pages I wrote a recipe for “green salad” (otherwise known as Pistachio Fluff or Watergate Salad) passed down to me via a phone call from my mom as a newlywed.

Pistachio Fluff Green Salad handwritten recipe in cookbook

Do your cookbooks look like this? This page collected the remnants of recipes in past years. Since my mom passed several years ago I treasure the recipes she made in my childhood. (Another cookbook favorite is Orange Fluff Jello Salad.

The great thing about this recipe is there is no prep time and no baking! Plus, it’s a quick dessert salad for potlucks or Christmas dinner and can be made ahead of time. Win win!


ingredients for dessert with pineapple, pistachio pudding, whipped topping and marshmallows
  • crushed pineapple
  • instant pistachio pudding mix
  • whipped cream
  • mini marshmallows

See the recipe card for quantities.


Step 1. Pour the canned pineapple into a large bowl.

Pour crushed pineapple into metal bowl

Step 2. Add the instant pudding mix.

Pour pistachio pudding mix on top of crushed pineapples

Step 3. Mix together both ingredients.

Stir pistachio pudding into crushed pineapples in metal bowl

Step 4. Add thawed cool whip and stir gently.

Spoon whipped top0ping into green fruit salad
Mixing together whipped topping and green pudding

Step 5. Fold in the tiny marshmallows into the pudding mixture and refrigerate until chilled.

Pouring marshmallows into metal bowl with pudding
Stir marshmallows into Watergate salad

Step 6. Chill this pistachio delight in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Watergate salad in vintage bowl


  1. If you enjoy walnuts or chopped pecans you can add these to the mix.
  2. Swap out (or add) mandarin oranges or fruit cocktail to the flavors.
  3. Use maraschino cherries as a garnish.

FAQs about Pistachio Fluff Salad

The salad actually gets its name from Watergate Cake, which is made from similar ingredients and uses pistachio pudding for icing.

My family always knew this recipe by Watergate salad but this fruit salad is also known as Green Fluff, Green Goop, Green Stuff or Pistachio-Pineapple Delight. Pretty catchy names for such a simple recipe!

Yes, pistachio IS a nut so the pudding will have some as an ingredient. This one might sneak up on you if you have a nut allergy so beware!

Some people also add nuts to this recipe as well but I prefer it without.

The simple answer is yes! Instant pudding is a quick pudding that requires no cook time while cook and serve has a given amount of preparation time. Instant pudding is also generally served cold and cook and serve pudding hot.

Green dessert in blue bowl and vintage cups

Have you ever had this old time recipe? I guarantee it’s delish!

Pistachio Fluff Fruit Salad

Call it a dessert or salad, Pistachio Fluff (also called Watergate Salad) is made in minutes from simple ingredients you already have on hand!
Course Fruit Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword Pistachio Fluff Salad
Calories 3437kcal
Author Marty’s Musings


  • 2 20- oz cans crushed pineapple with juice
  • 2 3- oz boxes instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 16 oz. whipped topping thawed
  • 1 10.5- oz pkg tiny marshmallows


  • In large bowl mix together pineapple and pistachio pudding mix.
  • Add thawed whipped topping and marshmallows until blended.
  • Refrigerate until chilled and serve.



Can substitute pineapple chunks for crushed pineapple if necessary.

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Pistachio Fluff Salad in vintage bowl

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    1. Hi, Nancy. I think the salad does fine the day before but I’m not sure about traveling in a cooler unless you can keep it sealed tight with a lot of refrigeration. The salad keeps well but it can get a little mushy if it sits out a while. It will still tastes good but may not be pretty 🙂 Does that help?

    1. Hi, Amanda. You would definitely need to at least double it for 30 people and maybe even triple it. If it was something like a potluck dinner with several other dishes then doubling it should be fine. Good luck!

  1. Thanks so much for the recipe for the recipe for pistachio salad-I’ve enjoyed at many pot-lucks-now I have the recipe-thanks, again, Ell Ell Ell