Pistachio Fluff Recipe

filed under: Dessert on May 17, 2019

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 such 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

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

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, some make homemade whipped topping instead of store-bought. It seems that no matter what variation you choose, this dessert is a crowd pleaser!

Pistachio Fluff Recipe

How to Make Pistachio Fluff

When I am preparing dishes for a get together I love having one or two recipes that are easy, can be made ahead, and only require a few simple ingredients.

  • whipped topping
  • instant pistachio pudding
  • mini marshmallows
  • crushed pineapple
  • chopped nuts (optional)

Simply add all the ingredients together (except the chopped nuts) and stir. So simple anyone can do it and so yummy no one will care that it only took 5 minutes to make!

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.

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. 🙂

Easy Pistachio Fluff

4.67 from 6 votes
Pistachio Fluff - Watergate Salad
Pistachio Fluff Recipe
Prep Time
5 mins
Cooling Time
1 hr

Is a BBQ really a BBQ if there is no Pistachio Fluff?

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pistachio fluff
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 218 kcal
Author: Amanda Rettke
  • 16 ounces whipped topping
  • 1 package (3.4 ounce) instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1 can (20 ounce) crushed pineapple, do not drain
  • 1/2 cup chopped pistachios or walnuts
  • Additional whipped topping (optional and for garnish)
  1. In a large bowl combine the whipped topping, pistachio pudding, marshmallows, and pineapple.

  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour. (Can be chilled up to 48 hours prior to serving.)

  3. 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!)

More Dessert Recipes

Blueberry Galette Dessert

Brownie Peanut Butter Dessert

Peanut Butter Cookie Dessert Pizza

Neapolitan Dessert

Looking for more recipes so you can be the star of your gathering? These are always winners!

Bacon Corn Dip

Egg Salad

Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Dip

Greek Salad

Southwest Cobb Salad Dip

Homemade Ranch Dressing

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  • Yvonne Tucker says:

    Love these fun and easy recipes!

  • Lisa says:

    My son is adopted, he came to us when he was 4. This one dish he remembers from his past and asks for it from time to time. So i make it for him at Thanksgiving and other gatherings. He is really the only one that eats it but he enjoys it so much. He just calls it “the green stuff” and he’s 15 now. Lol

  • Jill says:

    Love all your receipes

  • Pat Dorwin says:

    Could we please have the recipe square without adds, just the picture. The worst thing about food sites is wading through the adds to get to the printed recipe.
    Thank you

  • Linda says:

    In our family, we called this “Green Mud”! My recipe also added a can of fruit cocktail, drained. My daughters loved to take cherries and make a face or other designs on top!

  • Donna says:

    I love this recipe, but from experience, always drain the pineapple before adding if you don’t want to have your fluff turn out runny.

  • Ginny Palumbo says:

    We add a couple of cans of mandarin oranges to ours.

  • Pat Smith says:

    I’m going to make the potatoes for Sunday dinner as well as the Pistachio Fluff. Thank you so much for the recipes.

  • Sherry saner says:

    Do you put the pudding mix in dry into whipped topping or make the pudding first and the mix into whipped topping?

  • Yvonne. Huys says:

    I have made a lot of your recipes.Thank you

  • Starr Mills. says:

    Is there something else that can be used instead of marshmallows?

  • Janie King says:

    I don’t know your age, but I am 73 and have been eating Watergate Salad for most of my life so I’m thinking it came before your Pistachio Fluff.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      lol of course it did!! Pistachio fluff is Watergate Salad and no, I am not saying I invented it.

  • jean says:

    do you make the pudding first or use it dry in the whipped topping

  • Monique Janson says:

    Pistashio Fluff recipe, do you make the pudding according to directions, or do you add dry ingredients to whip topping?
    Thank you!

  • Sherry H says:

    I add maraschino cherry halves. Been making this forever, and you’re right, it’s delicious!

  • Deb Latif says:

    Fiancée is allergic to pineapple so what can I use as a substitute

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      You can omit pineapple. Or try mango.

  • Peggy Cooley says:

    Pistachio Fluff looks yummy! Have to try it!

  • Sandie says:

    I would make this and put it in a Graham cracker crust pie shell. Refrigerate. Cut and serve.

  • Sandie says:

    You put the dry pistachio pudding in with the crushed pineapple … used the juice from the pineapple to mix the pudding then I add the cool whip. It says whipped topping… do not use the aerosol can of whipped topping. Needs to be a frozen cool whip type of topping. If you add other stuff with juice, I would drain the juice first. Such as mandarin oranges, other mixed fruit. I don’t like nuts in mine, so I omit them. I put pine in a ready made pie shell and make a pie with it. Quick, easy, tasty treat!

  • Chasity says:

    We call it green stuff and we have a pink version of ambrosia salad that we call the pink stuff lol

  • Robert says:

    I love to make and its easy to make and everyone loves it and its delicious

  • Shawna Prather says:

    This has been a family favorite for YEARS!! We call it Green Goober. I like to use colored marshmallows, they add color and a slight hint of flavor.

  • Amanda says:

    Ok this may sound dumb, but instant pudding, is that the one in the cups or is it the one in the box. And if it’s the one in the box do you make it first or is it the powder that you are mixing with the other ingredients.

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Amanda! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. Use just the pudding mix (powder) that you find in the 3.4-ounce box. Have a great day!

  • Elaine parker says:

    Love these recipes

  • Alina Pérez says:

    Awesome delicious recipes!