Pistachio Fluff Salad is a favorite recipe since the '70s for potlucks, cookouts, and get-togethers.
This easy five-ingredient dessert salad recipe comes together in just minutes and is perfect for those looking for a lighter option to traditional creamy fruit salads and desserts.
Made with creamy whipped topping, pistachio pudding mix, sweet pineapple, crunchy pecans, and mini marshmallows, this great recipe is always a winner for taste and budget.
What are Fluff Salads and Desserts?
All fluff recipes are sweet and fluffy and primarily contain whipped topping or whipped cream. They are sweet enough to be a dessert and are a great side dish for buffets and the holidays.
But, whether you think of these dishes as salads or desserts they all have 2 ingredients in common: whipped topping plus a pudding or gelatin mix, which creates the basic flavor of the fluff.
Then ingredients are stirred in to build and enhance the main flavor of the fluff. These can include canned or fresh fruit, cottage cheese, pie filling, mini marshmallows, chopped nuts, coconut, bits of candies or chocolate, and even pieces of broken pretzels.
About This Recipe
The original pistachio fluff recipe was developed by General Foods to help market its new pistachio pudding flavor. The year was 1975 and they named it "Pistachio Pineapple Delight".
But it quickly became referred to as Watergate Salad and no one knows exactly why. The Watergate break-in and trials occurred in 1972 and 1973, President Nixon resigned in 1974, and the Watergate Hotel and Office Complex was never green.
So, it really didn't get invented during the time of the Watergate scandal. So who knows where the name came from?
Wherever the name came from... it stuck for a long time. But over the years, it has also been called many other different names, too, like Green Fluff, Green Goop, Green Stuff, Pistachio Delight, Pistachio Pudding Salad, Shamrock Salad, and even Shut The Gate Salad.
The recipe became popular for having only a handful of ingredients that could be mixed quickly and served in the same big bowl. It was a sweet salad or a sweet side dish depending on when you served it.
I clearly remember seeing people at church potlucks trying to decide where to place it, with the sides... or with the desserts.
This Pistachio Fluff Salad contains pistachio pudding, crushed pineapple, marshmallows, whipped topping, and chopped pecans. Of these 5 ingredients, only two require measuring which makes it very quick to make.
I've deviated from the original recipe by adding chopped pecans because I love just a small amount of texture and crunch in this pistachio fluff fruit salad.
If you loved my Mandarin Orange Fluff you are going to love this beautiful pale green Pistachio Fluff Salad. Just like orange fluff, this recipe is a favorite for family gatherings, holiday dinners, and potlucks. Plus it is one of the easiest fluff salad recipes you can make.
Whatever you call this classic recipe, this dessert is a delicious combination of pistachio and pineapple that is completely irresistible.
So... let's make some!
To make this Pistachio Fluff Salad you will need these simple ingredients:
- Whipped Topping - Thawed frozen whipped topping (Cool Whip) is the traditional ingredient for this fluff dessert.
- Crushed Pineapple - Any brand of crushed pineapple is delicious. I prefer pineapple canned "in its own juice" but you can use "light syrup" too.
- Pistachio Pudding Mix - This is the 3.4-ounce package "instant pudding" mix from Jell-O. Although store-branded pudding mixes are available I have not tried any other brand of pistachio pudding.
- Mini Marshmallows - Just plain vanilla mini marshmallows. No need to cut them. Just measure and add.
- Chopped Pecans - I prefer to buy whole pecans and cut them myself for a fresher taste and to get the perfect size of the pieces of pecans.
Please see the recipe card for quantities.
Stir Together. Stir together the crushed pineapple and the instant pistachio pudding in a large bowl until they are well combined.
Add and Mix. Add the whipped topping and mix well.
Fold In. Fold in the mini marshmallows and chopped pecans.
My Top Tips
♡ Do not drain the crushed pineapple! This recipe needs both the juice and the fruit.
♡ For the quickest prep time chop the nuts and measure the marshmallows before starting to mix the fluff.
Substitutions & Variations
- Omit the Nuts. The original recipe was completely no fuss and did not contain chopped nuts. So feel free to omit them.
- Substitute Chopped Walnuts. You can substitute chopped walnuts for the pecans.
- Substitute stabilized whipped cream for the frozen whipped topping.
Make-Ahead & Storage
Pistachio Fluff Salad can be made one day ahead or made just 1 hour before serving. It stores well in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
More Great Fruit and Fluff Desserts
Pistachio Fluff Salad
- 20 Ounces Crushed Pineapple with Juice
- 1 Package Instant Pistachio Pudding Mix, 3.4 Ounce
- 8 Ounces Frozen Whipped Topping, Thawed
- 1 Cup Mini Marshmallows
- ½ Cup Chopped Pecans
- Stir together the crushed pineapple and the instant pistachio pudding in a large bowl until they are well combined.20 Ounces Crushed Pineapple with Juice, 1 Package Instant Pistachio Pudding Mix
- Add the whipped topping and mix well.8 Ounces Frozen Whipped Topping
- Fold in the mini marshmallows and chopped pecans.1 Cup Mini Marshmallows, ½ Cup Chopped Pecans
- Cover and refrigerate until well chilled.
Encharted Cook Notes
Nutrition Per Serving
All nutritional information on this site is an estimate. Your results may vary.