Pistachio Pudding Salad

My grandpa loves pistachios.

I remember going on drives with him as a little girl in his old pickup truck and how he always brought a bag of pistachios for the trip.  Drives with my grandpa are always my favorite.  I don’t know if it is the fact he grew up in the depression, but my grandpa is someone who notices the beautiful detail in everything and appreciates it.  These drives we went on were, more often than not, to look at the scenery and appreciate this beautiful world God has provided for us.  I hang on to his every word.  My grandpa is always someone I look to for wisdom and someone whom I look up to in every aspect.

While he would go off on the most deep and often-poient tangents on these drives, I would munch on his stash of pistachios and soak it all in.  I think that is partially why I love this salad so much, because every bite reminds me of him and always will.

This salad comes from my grandma and is one that is sure to be a hit at any party or summer dinner :)

Pistachio Pudding Salad


  • 3.4 ounces Instant Pistachio Pudding mix dry
  • 20 ounces crushed pineapple with juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 8 ounces cool whip thawed


  • Mix dry pistachio pudding mix, crushed pineapple and juice, chopped pecans, coconut and mini marshmallows together in a large bowl.
  • Fold in Cool whip. Store in fridge.
  • This recipe may be made a day ahead.
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Filed under: dessert, side-dish

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  1. Donna Smith

    I love this dish. We call it Watergate Salad. My mother would make this for us all the time. And she still does now if we ask her to. It carries fond memories for me also when I make this for my family. This is a classic. Thanks for posting. I think I need to go make some.

    1. Alyson!

      My family calls it Watergate Salad as well. I'm allergic to pineapple and I've never added coconut to it, but we do use cottage cheese as part of the base as well. It's one of my favorite desserts & a classic for the holidays.

  2. Denise

    Why not use shelled piststichios instead of pecans ? Sounds pretty good. Might have to give it a try.

  3. ROBYN

    Fun memories with wonderful people, that is what like is about! Yummy salad and one of my favorites.

  4. MaryBeth Murray

    Hi Nikki,
    We called this salad Ambrosia....my mother, who was NOT know for her cooking skills would make this for EVERY family gathering....it became known as Aunt Mary's Ambrosia.. Rather than the coconut, her "recipe" called for 2 cans of fruit cocktail drained.....My mom passed away about 2 years ago...and now my young adult children make this for pot lucks and family gatherings.

  5. Debbie

    My granny called this Watergate salad.........and I don't remember the coconut! But it was always a favorite at holiday meals.

  6. Carole

    This is a really different salad. It would be great if you linked it in to today's Food on Friday which is collecting salad recipes.

  7. Susana

    The recipe does not come up.... Can anyone help?

    1. Chef in Training

      so sorry about that! It should be there now :)