Learning how to make Pistachio Mallow Salad is a right of passage for some midwestern kids. I learned standing by my mom’s side and it brings back fond memories! If you love easy desserts that you will be proud to bring to any gathering, try my Piggy Pie Dessert, Oreo Fluff, and Peanut Butter Oreo Dessert.

Pistachio Fluff
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Pistachio Fluff

So apparently this is also called a Watergate Salad. I hadn’t heard that name until I became a recipe writer and was curious to know more. This recipe has been around for more years than I have been alive and consumed by many!

Pistachio Fluff Recipe

What is a Fluff recipe?

Typically it is an instant pudding base with whipped topping added to create a lighter and “fluffier” texture. This recipe is a pistachio pudding base, whipped topping, and the fruit of choice, pineapple. There are a few variations like the number of boxes of pudding to use, the garnish (some, like my grandma, always put a cherry on top!), and the ingredients. Some folks add coconut, some add mandarin oranges, some add chopped walnut to the salad, and some make homemade whipped topping instead of store-bought. It seems that no matter what variation you choose, this dessert is a crowd-pleaser! I have a few fluff recipes including Cranberry Fluff (perfect for the holidays), Blueberry Lemon Fluff, and Pineapple Fluff.

Pistachio Mallow Fluff

How to Serve Pistachio Fluff

When attending an event I make it in a big bowl and bring a big spoon. (Who doesn’t love a giant helping of pistachio fluff?) But when at home I like to serve it in individual bowls.

Easy Pistachio Fluff

It is recommended that you serve pistachio fluff cold, but my experiences lead me in a different direction. I can remember many a neighborhood get-together where it was served next to jello, potato salad, and cheese balls. It has usually sat out for a bit before we got to dive in which meant my fondest memories are of eating it warm. Not saying this is the way to serve it, just that it is how I remember eating it and therefore how I like it today. 🙂

Pistachio Fluff - Watergate Salad
4.80 from 10 votes

Pistachio Fluff Recipe

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cooling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Is a BBQ really a BBQ if there is no Pistachio Fluff?


  • 16 ounces whipped topping, plus more for garnish (optional)
  • 1 package (3.4 ounces) instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1 can (20 ounce) crushed pineapple, do not drain
  • ½ cup chopped pistachios or walnuts


  • In a large bowl combine the whipped topping, pistachio pudding, marshmallows, and pineapple.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour. (Can be chilled up to 48 hours prior to serving.)
  • When you are ready to serve, top with additional whipped topping and sprinkle with chopped pistachio. (If you are like my grandma, you add one maraschino cherry on top!)

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. We call it “Frog Eye Salad” with the addition of tiny pasta stirred in, after you boil it. Lovely in the summer..

  2. Are you making the pistachio pudding according to package directions or just using the powdered mix added to the Cool Whip? In your Lemon Blueberry Fluff your instructions say to actually make the pudding, then add ingredients.

  3. I’ve been eating this since childhood which is many moons ago. Grandma & Mom always called it Watergate Salad. I call it Pistachio Salad, us Minnesotian’s
    will pretty much call anything a salad as long as it’s served in a bowl. Another salad example “Snicker’s Apple Salad” eerrr please pass the salad, I’m eating light today! 😋

  4. I am making this over the weekend. I do like your recipes. Keep them coming. Or maybe some easy appetizers. Thanknyou

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