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

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. 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.

  2. 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.

    1. 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!

  3. Until I was 50 years old the only name I had ever heard and used for this was Dragon Snot. I think it’s self-explanatory. I also start it by mixing the pudding mix into the pineapple and juice first, then folding in the rest. Definitely a family favorite!

  4. Love Pistachio Fluff,
    I omitted the marshmallows and added coconut along with nuts & maraschinos cherries
    Not a fan of marshmallows unless they are roasting over a fire 🤗

  5. we still make this for BBQ’s and other events – it’s always good!! The only change is we add 1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries (rinsed and dried on paper towel) to the original recipe

  6. I had to try this since I knew I had at least 3 of the ingredients in my cabinet… so yummy love it thank you 🙂

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