Watergate Salad (Authentic)

Want more from Genius Kitchen?

Watch on your Apple TV, Roku, or Fire TV and your iOS, Fire, or Android device.

Learn More
“This Watergate Salad Recipe was initially called Pistachio Pineapple Delight when it first debued in the 1970’s, and only canned pineapple was used. This easy and simple Watergate recipe has since been varied to use other canned fruits as well. How and why the name was changed to Watergate is a mystery. Some people think it has a lot to do with the Watergate Scandals that were prevalent during that time. Whatever the name is - Watergate or Pistachio Pineapple Delight - it is the results of the recipe that are important and this easy and simple Watergate recipe has lots of flavour. Although the original recipe called for canned pineapples, fruit cocktail seems to have become more of a favourite choice. Canned diced peaches or mandarins work really well in this recipe also. So, pick your choice of fruit and get stirring.”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Stir pudding mix, pineapple with juice, marshmallows and nuts in a large bowl until well blended. Gently stir in whipped topping. Refrigerate one hour or until ready to serve.
  2. -------------------.
  3. Watergate Salad 2.
  4. Ingredients:
  5. 1 (1 pound 4 ounce) can of crushed pineapple, in 100% pineapple juice, drained - reserve the juice.
  6. 2 small packages of instant pistachio pudding mix.
  7. 1 large (16 ounce) tub of Cool Whip, thawed.
  8. 2 cups of miniature marshmallows.
  9. 1 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts, optional.
  10. Instructions:
  11. Drain the pineapple, but reserve the juice! Stir together half of the pineapple juice with the pudding mix until well blended. Gently fold in the Cool Whip and carefully stir in the pineapple, marshmallows, and pecans. Add additional juice only if needed - you want this to be moist but not runny. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour or preferably overnight. Scoop into individual clear goblets and garnish with shredded sweet coconut, chopped nuts and/or Maraschino cherries, if desired.
  12. Variations: Add 3 to 4 bananas, sliced, well drained fruit cocktail, mandarin oranges, or.
  13. Maraschino cherries and/or mix in cottage cheese with the whipped topping.
  14. --------------------.
  15. Watergate Salad 3.
  16. serves 8 - 10.
  17. Ingredients:
  18. • 2 cups Miniature Marshmallows.
  19. • 2 pkg. (4-serving size each) Jell-O Pistachio Instant Pudding.
  20. • 2 cans (14 fl oz/398mL each) crushed pineapple in juice, NOT drained.
  21. • 1 cup chopped pecans (or other nuts of your choice).
  22. • 3 cups thawed Cool Whip Whipped Topping.
  23. Instructions:
  24. 1. Combine the mini marshmallows, the 2 dry pudding mixes, the canned pineapple (with juice) and the nuts in a large bowl.
  25. 2. Fold in the Cool Whip.
  26. 3. Cover and refrigerate your Watergate creation, for at least 1 hour, before serving.
  27. Notes:
  28. 1. You can make this recipe as a low-cal dessert by using the sugar-free pudding mix and the low-cal whipped topping.
  29. 2. You can substitute canned fruit cocktail, peaches, mandarins, or your favourite type in this recipe.
  30. Did you know:
  31. - that Watergate Salad is quite similar to Ambrosia - that this is very popular at potluck dinners and family gatherings - that it is very common in the Upper Mid-western United States. - that young and old alike - all enjoy this refreshing Watergate salad recipe.

Watch more

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a