Watergate Salad

Watergate Salad Recipe

This is a classic recipe. It is a Potluck and Buffet favorite!

It actually is NOT a salad, it is a dessert. So why is it called Watergate Salad?

There is not a clear answer. Here are some of the possibilities as to how it got it’s name:

  • In Washington DC the Watergate Hotel apparently had a
    “wonderful luncheon and a fabulous Manhattan”. They served the Watergate Salad as a
    dessert and it caught on and was so named the Watergate Salad among ladies in the
    DC area as that was the only place you could get it.
  • Some have said it was named after the Nixon Watergate scandal because it is full of nuts.
  • There is a claim that a food critic in Chicago renamed this dessert to generate more interest in their column, at the time of the Watergate Scandal.
  • Kraft began marketing their new Pistachio Pudding in 1975 and they came up with a recipe called “Pistachio Pineapple Delight” however, soon they received many calls for the Watergate Salad recipe and so they kept it.

No matter what you call it, it is a tried and true recipe that everyone loves. This recipe is very easy to make. Make a big batch so there is plenty to go around!

Here is my version of the recipe:



  • 1 (20 oz. can) Crushed Pineapple in Juice (do NOT drain)
  • 1 (3.4 oz.) Package Pistachio Flavor Instant Pudding
  • 2 Cups Mini Marshmallows
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Pecans
  • 1-1/2 Cups Thawed Cool Whip Topping

Watergate Salad Recipe (2)


1. In a large mixing bowl combine the Pineapple with Juice and the Dry Pudding Mix with a rubber spatula.

2. Fold in the Cool Whip.

3. Next Fold in the Marshmallows and the Pecans.

4. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Recipe by: Hot Dish Homemaker

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Hot Dish Homemaker

Hot Dish Homemaker

I love cooking for family and friends and decided to create the Hot Dish Homemaker blog as a forum to share my recipes and love for cooking. I hope you will inspired to try my recipes and share them with your friends and family! Enjoy!

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