Pistachio Fluff Salad

Easy, 4 ingredient Pistachio Fluff Salad, also known simply as Pistachio Salad! Best served with friends and family, this recipe makes a great potluck dish!

Easy, four ingredient, Pistachio Fluff Salad. Perfect for potlucks and bbq's!

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You are living in a vacuum my friends, if you haven’t yet tried this Pistachio Fluff Salad.

Some people call it simply Pistachio Salad, Pistachio Dump Salad, Pistachio Pudding Salad or Watergate Salad. Or Green Fluff. Or just the Green Goop.

Whatever you call it, it’s a huge hit at all our family functions and potlucks.

Pistachio Fluff Salad is seriously only 4 ingredients (5 if you count the cherries on top)! I know many people add extra nuts to theirs, but not us. Occasionally I’ll swap out the mini white marshmallows and use the fruity, colored mini marshmallows instead.

Summer is a great time to whip up a batch of this pistachio salad. I know I keep calling this a salad when it clearly is more like a dessert. But after all, Mom always said to eat your greens, haha!!

Seriously though, with summer just around the corner, and potlucks, graduations, and BBQs looming, this Pistachio Fluff Salad is the answer to, “What should I bring?” (my bruschetta recipe is also a delicious summer snack)!

Easy, four ingredient, Pistachio Fluff Salad. Perfect for potlucks and bbq's!


If you’ve never had Pistachio Fluff Salad, you might still be wondering, “What is pistachio salad?”

Pistachio Fluff Salad is pistachio pudding mixed with crushed pineapple and Cool Whip. Mini marshmallows get folded in and it is garnished with maraschino cherries.

Like I said, some people like to fold chopped nuts in as well, but we stick with just the marshmallows in our family.
The result is light, fluffy, sweet and crave-worthy. This is a green food that everyone will want to eat!

The hardest part of this Pistachio Fluff Salad recipe is giving everything time to mingle. Allowing it to thicken up. You can make it the night before, or whip it up at least 4 hours in advance, making it perfect for holiday gatherings.

If you don’t want to put the cherries on top, you can toss them into the mix. This also makes a beautiful Christmas side dish or dessert with the red cherries and green pudding mixture!


With only 4 ingredients, Pistachio Fluff Salad is as easy to make as you’d expect.

In a large bowl, combine your two boxes of instant pistachio pudding mix with your can of crushed pineapple. Do not drain the pineapple. Mix this together with a wooden spoon until the pudding mix is blended with the juice from the pineapple.

Add in the Cool Whip and mini marshmallows.

If you want to add in some chopped walnuts or pecans (like in a Watergate salad), go ahead and do so now.

Cover the Pistachio Fluff Salad and refrigerate 4 hours, or overnight. Serve with maraschino cherries as a garnish. Or, if desired, add the cherries into the fluff right before serving. ENJOY.

So, tell me, have you eaten pistachio salad before? Do you love it as much as I do?

Looking to use pudding mix in more recipes? Adding a box of pudding to cookies creates the most amazing, soft and chewy, Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies.

Easy, four ingredient, Pistachio Fluff Salad. Perfect for potlucks and bbq's!

Love this easy recipe? Here are a few other delicious ideas:

Cherry Dump Salad

Cherry Dump Salad: much like today’s recipe this one calls for cherry pie filling!


 Frozen Cranberry Salad: I love making this a few days ahead of time for a family party. Delicious and easy!

taffy apple salad

Taffy Apple Salad: this easy dish tastes just like a taffy apple, but since we call it salad, it’s good for you. Right?

Love today’s Watergate Salad recipe? Here are a few delicious recipes from my friends:

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Pistachio Fluff Salad:


Yield: serves 12

Pistachio Fluff Salad

Pistachio Fluff Salad
Prep Time 5 minutes
Additional Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 5 minutes

Easy, 4 ingredient, Pistachio Fluff Salad recipe! Best served with friends and family, makes a great potluck dish!


  • 2 boxes (3.4 oz each) JELL-O Instant Pistachio pudding mix
  • 1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple
  • 16 oz Cool Whip, thawed
  • 1 bag (10 oz) mini marshmallows
  • maraschino cherries, for garnish


  1. In a large bowl, combine pudding mix with crushed pineapple. Mix with a wooden spoon until pudding mix is blended with pineapple liquids.
  2. Add in Cool Whip and mini marshmallows. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours, or overnight. Serve with maraschino cherries as a garnish. Or, if desired, add cherries to fluff right before serving. ENJOY.

Easy, four ingredient, Pistachio Fluff Salad. Perfect for potlucks and bbq's!

*Today’s recipe for Pistachio Fluff Salad was originally published on Shugary Sweets on May 7, 2015 and has been republished in May 2018

**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

72 comments on “Pistachio Fluff Salad”

  1. When I was little I called it “green stuff”.  I just adored it and didn’t know what it was called.  I haven’t made it in years.  I have got to make it again very soon.  Yours looks so goergeous and tasty.

  2. Best way to eat your greens right there 😉  I adore all the different fluff salads and have been having fun jazzing them up for different picnics!  But one of my favorites is the pistachio…I need to make that one again soon!!!

  3. This is so fun! My kids {and I} would love this!

  4. I must be living under a rock. I’ve never tried this! And I love pistachio pudding mix, and marshmallows, and so really, it’s time. This looks great!

  5. I have never tried any kind of fluff or dump salad… so I haven’t been living yet! Ahh! This one is on my “to cook” list for sure!

  6. Rebekah G

    I grew up calling the Waldorf Salad, haven’t had it in years. Use to love it!

  7. Can you believe that I’ve never made Fluff Salad before. I know, I know I am living in a vacuum. Hehe. So gonna make this when its hot outside. It looks like the perfect for this lazy days. PS have a wonderful vacay! Hope you great time and get to relax and be with the family!! Hugs! 

  8. Susan A

    Oh my goodness!  I learned this in “Foods Class” in about 1982.  I loved it!  I will have to make this for my kids.  Thanks for posting!

  9. Tracy

    We called it Watergate Salad and we add nuts to it. It’s so refreshing and great for a cook out.

  10. I remember this salad well from my pre-diabetic days. I now realize it’s not a salad at all but a dessert instead. It can be a silent killer for the diabetic.

  11. THIS is my kinda salad! Looks wonderful! 

  12. This looks like the next dessert recipe that I will make all the time. So simple and delicious = )

  13. Donna

    My mother has made this for years but she’d put it in a ready made graham cracker pie crust (minus the marshmallows ) so good!

  14. Wow! I’m loving the color of this fluffy pistachio salad! I love the consistency of its thickness. It’s so fluffy and refreshing. I love it!

  15. Pete Young (female)

    Is there anything that can be subbed for the sweetened milk? My husband is diabetic

  16. susan

    Try it with sugar free pudding mixes, also s/f cool-whip, eating like a diabetic. 

  17. Sandra Lawson

    I have made this for years. Its called ‘Watergate Salad’. I use Kraft’s pastel FunMallows instead of white. All the flavors mingled together makes this so delicious and a pretty party dish!

  18. Celeste

    It would not be a holiday in my family without, what my Grandma, Mom,  Aunts & Uncles call, Watergate Salad and what my kids call “green salad”  We do add the nuts (and no cherries).  I grew up in the midwest where this kind of thing is normal but moved to MA where it isn’t.  After many years living here my MA family is now requesting this ‘salad’ too!  

  19. Suzanne

    Everyone I’ve  known since the 1970s calls it Watergate Salad. My recipe calls for chopped toasted pecans or walnuts.

  20. Amy

    Do you make the pist pudding according to the directions on the box and then mix it with the crushed pineapple or do you just put the pudding powder mixed with crushed pineapple 

  21. Dots

    I’ve known it as Watergate salad. I’ve made it several times in the past and the nuts usually come from the pistachio pudding. (Hence the name pistachio) You can do a search for the name Watergate Salad and you’ll find information about some of the origins.

    There are also other variations with other pudding mixes and added fruits to make it into different types, e.g. Cherry Fluff. I urge everybody to play around with the puddings and fruits and come up with your own variations.

  22. I’m wondering if you can make it with the more recent flavor of “watermelon jello?” And if so, could you add bits of watermelon ( squeezing out the excess watermelon liquid)?

  23. Kara

    I know this as Watergate Salad too. It’s at every potluck in the south. I’m in Georgia. I’m wondering what I can substitute for the pineapple w/juice? My boyfriend swears he’s had it without because he doesn’t like canned pineapple. Since you have to mix the pudding with the juice first I need something else. Learned the hard way that pudding and cool whip alone does not work. Any suggestions?

  24. Sher

    Do I drain the can of pineapple first or just pour the whole can with liquid in there? Thanks!

  25. Anonymous

    I use fruit flavored marshmallows and add flaked coconut

  26. Lindsey

    I trippled the recipe because I’m making it for a large group. The only thing I did differently is only added 2 containers of cool whip to keep the color more green and it turned out great!

  27. Angel

    I accidently got pineapple chunks instead of crushed pineapple, is the juice what really matters?? I don’t want to mess it up, doing it for mother’s day. Please help lol, thank you.

  28. Kellie

    We make something similar but it is called Watergate Salad. 1 sm. container sm. curd cottage cheese, drained,
    1 box instant pistachio pudding,
    1 can crushed pineapple, drained, 1/2 bag (or more) miniature marshmallows,
    1 (9 oz.) container Cool Whip, thawed

    Sprinkle the dry pudding mix over the cottage cheese in a large mixing bowl. Stir together, until the cottage cheese looks green. Drain the crushed a pineapple, a bit, and stir it into the pudding-cottage cheese mixture. Fold in the marshmallows, and last of all, gently fold in the Cool Whip.

    Refrigerate overnight. It is SO yummy!!

  29. Kellie

    Oops, I left out the chopped pecans!!

  30. CJ

    Can you use light Cool Whip for the pistachio fluff or will that make it more watery?

  31. Phyllis

    Can this be made with real whipped cream instead of cool whip? Love your site!

  32. Anonymous

    We call it “Booger Salad”???? Delicious regardless what it is called. Classy here in Canada…

  33. Susan

    I saw this on Pinterest and remember my mom making this when I was little, and so I  made it for my 5 kids. It was just as good as I remember it being and my kids loved it too! Thanks for sharing the recipe! :-))

  34. Carol Ann Treiber

    Is there anyway to use something more natural than Cool Whip. Could this be made with real whipped cream? I hate all the artificial ingredients and Cool Whip.

  35. Darlene

    It is called “Waldorf Salad” and the recipe is on the side of the Jello brand pistachio pudding box. It’s an old recipe but still a good one. You can also add nuts, flaked coconut or sprinkles to brighten it up.

  36. Audrey

    My recipe for this is called Watergate salad.

  37. Debra Logan

    Waldorf salad has apples, grapes, and mayonnaise. This is Watergate salad, named around the time of the Watergate scandal in Washington-whether it had any connection, I don’t know. We never added the nuts, as there are already pistachios in there. I swear this has been at every potluck dinner I’ve been to since 1975!

  38. It looked so delicious, I will try your recipe someday

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  47. Kat

    I love this…we always called it Ambrosia, and add shredded coconut, as well. With or without the nuts.

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  53. Anonymous

    This was great! I added shredded coconut to it. 

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  55. Paulette

    I made the “green stuff” my nephew calls it for years. I use the pudding, cool whip, crushed pineapple and juice and drain fruit cocktail. I saw a suggestion using colored miniature marshmallows7 instead of white…that looks interesting.

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