Watergate Salad – A vintage fruit salad recipe from the 70s that is great for parties and potlucks! Made with just 5 simple ingredients in less than 5 minutes, it’s easy and delicious!
Watergate salad is one of those vintage recipes that is popping around so many family’s cookbooks or recipe boxes. It’s a dessert (or side dish) that can easily feed a crowd so it’s ideal for parties, potlucks, and any other event you can think of! Made with 5 simple ingredients in about 5 minutes, it’s an easy treat that anyone can make! I always make it for Christmas parties because of the beautiful green color and then I will chop up some maraschino cherries to garnish it with to make it festive and fun!
Common Questions About Making Watergate Salad
What is watergate salad?
Watergate salad is a fruit salad that is typically served as a side dish or dessert that’s made by combining pistachio pudding powder, crushed pineapples, whipped cream, mini marshmallows, and pecans. It’s served chilled and can be made ahead of time.
What variations can I make?
There are SO many variations on watergate salad that people make depending on where you live, what decade your recipe is from, etc. It’s a super flexible recipe that can be easily adjusted to your taste. Some of the most popular add-ins and adjustments include –
- Chopped walnuts
- 2 boxes of pudding instead of 1
- 20 ounces of crushed pineapple instead of 15 ounces
- Drained pineapple instead of undrained
- Refrigerated overnight instead of just an hour
- Mandarin oranges
- Maraschino cherries
- Cream cheese
- Cottage cheese
- Chopped pistachios
- Shredded coconut
- Sliced bananas
What kind of pineapple should I use?
Do not use the crushed pineapples in syrup or it makes the salad too sweet to handle. It’s much too intense. Use the crushed pineapple in juice as it tastes much better.
How long does watergate salad last?
This salad will keep in the fridge for about 5 days, if sealed well with plastic or a lid. Water may accumulate in the salad after a couple of days in the fridge, but this won’t ruin the salad. Just drain it off. Additionally, do not freeze.
Should I make the pudding ahead of time?
No! Don’t not make the pudding as the box directs you to. You just want to use the pudding powder, that’s it. This is important as this will make the salad very soupy otherwise.
Looking for more easy dessert recipes? Check these out!
- 2 cups mini marshmallows
- 8 ounces whipped cream (1 container)
- 1 box pistachio pudding (3.4 ounces)
- 1 can crushed pineapple (15.25 ounces)
- 2/3 cup chopped pecans
- Place the pudding powder and the undrained, crushed pineapple in a medium mixing bowl and stir until fully combined.
- Add in the remaining ingredients and mix well.
- Chill for 1 hour before serving.
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