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The Best Watergate Salad Recipe

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This Watergate Salad Recipe is so good, it landed me a husband. This dessert, also known as pistachio delight, is a light creamy marshmallow fluffy salad made with pineapples and chopped pecans for the perfect light dessert. 

watergate salad in bowl with spoon sticking out

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I never even heard about watergate salad until this guy I was dating mentioned it. He asked me to make it for him and I gave him the side-eye because I had no clue what it was. After months of dating and after I received an invite to his family reunion, I decided to prepare the recipe for his family reunion. I followed a recipe I found on the side of a box of pistachio jello pudding.

The recipe was pretty good, so good in fact that the bowl of watergate salad I brought was gone by the time the reunion was over. About a year and a half later, that guy I was dating became my husband. If anyone asks him what made him decide that I was his wife, he always mentions that watergate salad. 

Over the years, I’ve adapted the original recipe and added a few ingredients I preferred. The original recipe called for using a jar of Cool Whip. This recipe uses a homemade from scratch cream cheese whipped cream. I’ve also subbed pecans for walnuts and added way more marshmallows than the original recipe called for. In my opinion, these little changes have literally made it the best watergate salad recipe.

How to make Watergate Salad

First, place 8 ounces of softened cream cheese in a large bowl and beat with a hand mixer on medium speed until the cream cheese has become fluffy. This should take about 1-2 minutes. 

Next, slowly pour 1 cup of heavy cream into the bowl while mixing on medium speed. Pour heavy cream about ¼ cup at a time until it is fully blended into cream cheese. Once all heavy cream is poured in, add ¾ cup powdered sugar and 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract and then mix until soft peaks form. 

Add a 3.4 oz box of pudding mix, 3 cups of marshmallows, a 20 oz can of crushed pineapple (undrained), and 1 cup chopped pecans and use a spoon or spatula to stir into the cream cheese mixture.

Cover and refrigerate for 2-4 hours. Serve and enjoy.

Notes:

  • This salad can be made ahead of time. It can last on your fridge for up to 3-4 days. 
  • This salad is similar to Waldorf salad or ambrosia salad but with a totally different flavor profile. 
  • Watergate salad is an interesting name for a dessert salad. How watergate salad got its name. 
  • You can substitute lime jello for pistachio pudding mix in the recipe if you prefer it.

Looking for more dessert recipes? Try these out:

Print Pin
5 from 2 votes

The Best Watergate Salad Recipe

This Watergate Salad Recipe is so good, it landed me a husband. This dessert, also known as pistachio delight, is a light creamy marshmallow fluffy salad made with pineapples and chopped pecans for the perfect dessert. 
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword dessert salad, watergate salad recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Chill Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings 10 people
Calories 389kcal
Author Tanya

Ingredients

  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 3.4 oz instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 3 cups mini marshmallows
  • 20 oz crushed pineapple undrained
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Instructions

  • Place cream cheese in a large bowl and beat with a hand mixer on medium speed until the cream cheese has become fluffy. This should take about 1-2 minutes.
  • Next, slowly pour heavy cream into the bowl while mixing on medium speed. Pour heavy cream about ¼ cup at a time until it is fully blended into cream cheese. Once all heavy cream is poured in, add powdered sugar and 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract and then mix until soft peaks form.
  • Add pudding mix, marshmallows, crushed pineapple, and chopped pecans and use a spoon or spatula to stir into the cream cheese mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 2-4 hours. Serve and enjoy.

Suggested Tools

Video

Notes

  • This salad can be made ahead of time. It can last on your fridge for up to 3-4 days. 
  • This salad is similar to Waldorf salad or Ambrosia salad but with a totally different flavor profile. 
  • You can substitute lime jello for pistachio pudding mix in the recipe if you prefer it.

Nutrition

Calories: 389kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 234mg | Potassium: 164mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 689IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 1mg
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Laura

Tuesday 25th of February 2020

I grew up on this salad over some 50 years ago. My mom called it "Martha Washington salad".

Wanda Pryor

Tuesday 25th of February 2020

Looking forward to trying your way my Mom use to make this treat for us omg...I loved it

Katie

Tuesday 25th of February 2020

This looks like it will be a easy thing to put together for my family. I used to get this from Winn-Dixie as a child. I can't seem to find it anywhere. Thank you for sharing

Marci Runnion

Tuesday 25th of February 2020

Hey Tanya: I have made Watergate salad many times and it is delicious. The only difference in my recipe and yours is I use Cool Whip in place of cream cheese and whipping cream. it is much easier and just as delicious. Give it a try.

Regards, Marci

Tanya

Tuesday 25th of February 2020

Yup, I used to make it with Cool Whip, it taste great. I just always have heavy cream on hand 😊