Watergate Salad (Pistachio Pudding Salad/Dessert)

Watergate Salad is one of those quick and easy recipes that comes together in minutes and is a real crowd pleaser.  This is always a welcome dish on the potluck table or on the baby/wedding shower circuit.  Whether you serve this as a main dish salad or as a dessert is totally up to you.  I know some people like this served on a cold plate along side the potato and macaroni salads but I prefer it as a dessert as it is quite sweet (and not at all healthy).

No one really knows where the"Watergate" part of the name came from. There are lots of stories going round but I suspect most of them might be filed under the "urban legends" tab.  The recipe was originally published as Pistachio Pineapple Delight by the Kraft company in 1975 but somehow during the next few years the name change occurred and by all accounts it stuck. By the time I came across the recipe it was well established as Watergate Salad and a Southern American staple. Easy access to the internet has changed the world's eating habits!  This isn't like any salad or pudding my mother would have ever made.  

I think you could make this with any flavour pudding and complementary canned fruit.  Just imagine vanilla pudding and canned mandarin oranges or chocolate pudding and canned sweet or sour cherries.  Hmmm... the possibilities are only limited to the choice of puddings and canned fruit available.  Maybe I can invent a scandalously named salad that everyone will love...  In the meantime enjoy the green Watergate Salad.

Watergate Salad
1 package 4 serving size Jell-o pistachio instant pudding
1 can 14 oz crushed pineapple, undrained
1 cup miniature marshmallows, any kind
½ cup chopped pecans
1½ cups thawed frozen whipped topping (like Cool Whip) or 1½ cups whipped cream
Extra pecans and whipped topping for garnish, if desired

In a large bowl, combine dry pudding mix with the undrained pineapple.  Mix the marshmallows and pecans into the pudding mixture.   Gently stir in whipped topping or cream. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until ready to serve.  Serve with extra whipped topping and chopped pecans if you wish.  

Makes 6-8 servings. 

The ingredients:  undrained crushed pineapple, marshmallows, instant pistachio pudding, pecans and whipped topping or cream.  How easy is that!

Combine the dry pudding mix with the undrained crushed pineapple.

Mix in the marshmallows and chopped nuts.  I didn't have any miniature marshmallows so I cut up regular marshmallows.

Fold the whipped topping or cream into the pudding mixture.  Chill for at least an hour.

 Serve the Watergate Salad in a pretty bowl and garnish with a dollop of cream and a few chopped pecans.

 Sweet and creamy Watergate Salad.


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