Watergate Salad: A Classic American Recipe

March 20, 2022
Watergate Salad

Hey, y’all! If you are from the states – or if you have attended a church potluck – you have most likely had Watergate Salad. Watergate Salad is native to DC, hence the political name, but has been engrained in American cuisine for decades. While often a recipe of decades-past, I think it’s just as delicious as ever; in fact, it’s one of my very favorite desserts. It’s light, fluffy, and full of flavor — and comes together in just minutes. 21st century: please welcome Watergate Salad to the stage!

This recipe stems from my Auntie JJ and is a part of a larger series, #CookingLikeJJ, which you can read more about here.

Watergate Salad
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Watergate Salad

Frequently Asked Questions

If I don’t like pecans, can I substitute another nut?

Yes! I prefer pecans, but watergate salad is also delicious with walnuts.

Should I drain the pineapple juice for watergate salad?

Absolutely not — pineapple juice is a vital ingredient for watergate salad!

How long should I refrigerate watergate salad?

I recommend refrigerating watergate salad for one hour prior to serving.

Watergate Salad

Ingredients, Shopping List: Watergate Salad

  • crushed pineapple
  • pistachio pudding mix (I use JELL-O brand)
  • frozen whipped topping
  • pecans (crushed)
  • mini marshmallows
Watergate Salad

How to Make Watergate Salad

  1. In a large bowl, combine crushed pineapple (with juice), pistachio pudding mix, crushed pecans, and mini marshmallows.
  2. Fold in whipped topping; mix until well-combined.
  3. Refrigerate + serve.
Watergate Salad

Watergate Salad: Tips and Tricks

  1. I like to fold my whipped topping into the mix at the end; it produces the best consistency for the salad.
  2. Do not drain the pineapple juice!
  3. Use crushed pecans in the mix, with walnuts being a good substitute.
Watergate Salad

Other Desserts You’ll Love

  1. Strawberry Brownies
  2. No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie
  3. Homemade Strawberry Pie
Watergate Salad

The Recipe

Watergate Salad

Watergate Salad

JC Phelps
Stemming from DC, Watergate Salad is a classic American recipe. With only five ingredients, it's easy to make + oh-so-delicious!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 281 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 can crushed pineapple 20 oz.
  • 1 box pistachio pudding mix
  • 1 tub frozen whipped topping
  • 1/2 c. pecans crushed
  • 1 c. mini marshmallows

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl, combine crushed pineapple (with juice), pistachio pudding mix, crushed pecans, and mini marshmallows.
  • Fold in whipped topping; mix until well-combined.
  • Refrigerate + serve.

Notes

  • I like to fold my whipped topping into the mix at the end; it produces the best consistency for the salad.
  • Do not drain the pineapple juice!
  • Use crushed pecans in the mix, with walnuts being a good substitute.

Nutrition

Sodium: 47mgCalcium: 53mgVitamin C: 7mgVitamin A: 93IUSugar: 32gFiber: 2gPotassium: 180mgCholesterol: 5mgCalories: 281kcalMonounsaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gFat: 12gProtein: 3gCarbohydrates: 44gIron: 1mg
Keyword watergate, watergate salad
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

About the Series: Cooking Like JJ

My Auntie JJ was the quintessential southern woman. She was classy, tasteful, always refined; an amazing cook and hostess; and did everything that she balanced – teaching, running businesses, raising a family, and keeping an immaculate home – with ease. She is one of the main inspirations behind JCP Eats, as she was the one who taught me about timeless, southern food and entertaining. When JJ passed away, I planned this series as a way to pay homage to her 91 years here on Earth; in a way, it’s a form of mourning – in another, it seems like my final gift to her. I hope y’all will enjoy this deep dive into the culinary archives of my family + Phelps Acres Farm. While I’ll never be able to cook as good as JJ, I can only strive to cook like JJ (hence the title of the series). Learn more here.

Phelps Acres Farm Kentucky

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

My best,

JC

Keep Up With JCP Eats

Thank you so much for visiting the blog today! I’d love to keep in touch via social media. You can follow my content on InstagramFacebookPinterestTik TokTwitter, and LinkedIn. I also author a second website, Notable Kentucky, on which I write about all things of note in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Read Notable Kentucky here.

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