Simply Sweet Home

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Recipe of the Week: Pistachio Dessert Salad

In the spirit of St. Patrick's Day I wanted to post a green colored recipe. My mom used to make this Pistachio Dessert Salad every year at Christmas. Actually she called it Congealed Salad or Pistachio Salad. As a kid I always called it "that green stuff." Actually I still call it that, but I think Pistachio Dessert Salad sounds a little more inviting.

In some cookbooks it's also listed as Watergate Salad. In case your curious about this name origin I looked it up (proving once again that I'm one of the biggest nerds on the planet), and I found an article at It said that pistachio pudding was introduced by Kraft in 1976, and customers began making Pistachio Pineapple Delight. Then a Chicago food reporter named it Watergate Salad in her column. So there you go.

Today I'm sharing the recipe that I use and some variations on the recipe.

Recipe for Pistachio Dessert Salad:


1 (8 oz.) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 (3 3/4 oz.) pkg. instant pistachio pudding mix
1 to 1 1/2 c. miniature marshmallows
1 (15 oz) can crushed pineapple (drained)
1 c. chopped pecans (optional)

Directions: Combine pudding mix and Cool Whip. Add other ingredients and mix well. Chill 1 hour before serving.

Tips & Suggestions:

-This is a very easy recipe to customize for different occasions or for your own tastes. Here are some examples and suggestions:
  • Add a splash of color and flavor by mixing in OR topping with Maraschino cherries.
  • Substitute a can of fruit cocktail for the pineapple. Or if you like a lot of fruit, mix in the fruit cocktail in addition to the pineapple.
  • Another great item to subsitute or add to the mix is mandarin oranges.
-You can also change the recipe completely by using a different flavor of pudding or jello mix.
  • My mom makes a red/pink version of this using cherry or strawberry jello and Maraschino cherries.
  • If you want a green salad, but you don't like pistachio, you can use lime gelatin instead.
  • Another version I've heard of uses orange jello, mandarin oranges, and/or pineapple.
Personally I love this pistachio version. What do you guys think?


Please visit the following sites for more great recipes & other ideas:
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Homemaker Mondays is hosted by
11th Heaven’s Homemade Haven.
Making A Happy Home Monday is hosted by
As For Me and My House….
Kitchen Tip
Tuesdays is hosted by Tammy's Recipes
Make Something Monday is hosted by
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Tasty Tuesday is hosted by
Forever Wherever.
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  • At March 16, 2009 at 2:45 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

    Wow! That looks really good! I love pistachios so this is something that I'm definitely going to try : )

  • At March 16, 2009 at 3:28 AM , Blogger Barbara Bakes said...

    I think it's perfect for St. Patrick's Day!

  • At March 16, 2009 at 7:05 AM , Blogger Erin Tales said...

    It sounds perfect for St. Pattys!

  • At March 16, 2009 at 7:06 AM , Blogger annies home said...

    one of my favorites did you know this also goes by the name watergate salad? I knew this but do not know why

  • At March 16, 2009 at 7:18 AM , Blogger Charlene said...

    We made this in my family, too, only our's didn't have marshmallows in it. I've also eaten some versions that had cottage cheese added to it. Any way you make this, it's always good! Thanks for reminding me of a family classic!

  • At March 16, 2009 at 7:25 AM , Blogger Felicia said...

    I was just recently introduced to pistachios and surprisingly I like them! This seems like a great way to use them!

    Sorry.. my Make Something Monday is finally up... everyone is tired and sick in the household! Please stop by if you get a chance. I have a linky.

  • At March 16, 2009 at 8:25 AM , Blogger Diana of Diana Rambles said...

    Yum...I want some!! Here is mine!

  • At March 16, 2009 at 9:06 AM , Blogger jac. said...

    We make this every Thanksgiving! Our family absolutely loves it.

  • At March 16, 2009 at 10:35 AM , Blogger Kimmie said...

    Oh yummy!

  • At March 16, 2009 at 11:12 AM , Blogger ♥Rosie♥ said...

    Just perfect for St.Patrick's Day!! I'm a sucker for pistachios and your salad looks great

    Happy St.Patrick's Day Jerri

  • At March 16, 2009 at 11:20 AM , Blogger Donna-FFW said...

    This sounds perfect! Easy, simple and I bet its delicious!!

  • At March 16, 2009 at 7:55 PM , Blogger Tara @ Feels Like Home said...

    This looks delicious! I love pistachio desserts. :)

  • At March 16, 2009 at 9:47 PM , Blogger Happy Hermit ( said...

    Interesting , I will have to give it a try.

  • At March 17, 2009 at 8:26 AM , Blogger Sherry @ Lamp Unto My Feet said...

    This sounds amazing! I've had this several times and love it!

  • At March 17, 2009 at 9:18 AM , Blogger Lisa@BlessedwithGrace said...

    Great recipe for St. Patty's Day! I LOVE that you gave us a history lesson. That was fun! I love that you called it "green stuff". My hubby's grandmother made the strawberry version that he called "pink stuff". Thanks for sharing the recipe and linking up to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.

  • At March 17, 2009 at 9:34 AM , Blogger amariaf2000 said...

    Love it! I have a recipe for pistachio cake on my blog that I enjoy in the summer! So refreshing!
    ~angela @ peonypatch

  • At March 17, 2009 at 11:45 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Oh, I had almost forgotten that my mom made something like this. She put it in a pie crust I think. It was great! Thanks for sharing, and it's a perfect treat for St. Paddy's Day!

  • At March 17, 2009 at 12:23 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I love this salad myself. I'm like the other reader and have also had it with cottage cheese. I tend to make it more often with the cottage cheese because I tend to snack on it and feel I'm upping the nutrition a bit. My DH recently had dental surgery and I made some for him and he loved it. In the past he's always looked at my "green" snack and ignored it. Sigh...guess I have to share now.

    Thanks for stopping by
    Mountain Belle

  • At March 17, 2009 at 12:28 PM , Blogger Jerri at Simply Sweet Home said...

    Thanks everyone. This is a great St. Patrick's Day Treat, though it's also good for spring, summer, or as I've shown, Christmas.

    It's great to know that some of you had this growing up too.

    Also, a couple of you mentioned that you love pistachios. Believe it or not, I do not even eat pistachios. I tried them once and I didn't really like them. But I love this stuff. So if anyone was unsure about the pistachio flavor, give it a shot anyway. You may be surprised.

    Kim - Actually I think it would be good in a pie shell. That's a good idea.

    Lisa, glad you enjoyed the history lesson, and it's cool that you were familiar with the "pink stuff."

  • At March 17, 2009 at 2:09 PM , Blogger Jerralea said...

    What a great idea. I didn't think about using this for St. Pat's day ... I love this salad, so cool and refreshing.

  • At March 17, 2009 at 7:52 PM , Blogger JudyBug said...

    We call it Watergate Salad and it's a fav here. I'll have to try some of your variations. Yum!


  • At March 18, 2009 at 9:43 AM , Blogger Nanna said...

    use to amke this all the time & still do from time to time, I use the differnt colored minie marshmellows , makes a great Easter desert , thanks for stopping by.

  • At March 19, 2009 at 6:02 PM , Blogger Lori said...

    Oh, we make this recipe all the time and love it! :) It's so good, isn't it?


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