Dear Crissy

Pistachio Fluff Salad

Leave it to grandma to throw a few tasty ingredients into a bowl, mix it up with a little love and call it a dessert worthy of taking to a potluck. That’s just exactly what my grandma did with this yummy pistachio fluff salad when I was a kid and I’ve been loving the recipe ever since.

I’ve seen this recipe called pistachio delight, watergate salad, green goop, green fluff, green stuff, shut the gate salad, and pistachio mallow salad. Phew, this green dessert has a lot of monikers! No matter what you call it, this easy dessert recipe is always a winner with my family.

This recipe sort of reminds me of another family favorite recipe, this tasty ambrosia salad.

Pistachio Fluff Salad Recipe

Pistachio Fluff Salad - You may call it pistachio delight, watergate salad or something else, but regardless the name it's such an easy and delicious dessert!

Here’s the funny thing about this pistachio fluff salad. I actually don’t normally care for marshmallows unless they’ve been toasted and smushed between two graham crackers with a chunk of chocolate!

I’m definitely not one to snack on mini marshmallows, but, I LOVE to eat them incorporated into this scrumptious pistachio fluff salad. Go figure. It just works for me!

Pistachio Fluff Salad - You may call it pistachio delight, watergate salad or something else, but regardless the name it's such an easy and delicious dessert!

I’m a big fan of pecans, so I adore the crunch and flavor that the chopped pecans add to this pistachio dessert, but if you don’t like pecans you can certainly leave them out. I know from past comments on my recipes that quite a few of you are not partial to nuts in your recipes! :)

RELATED: Try my creamy grape salad or my mom’s classic peanut butter no bake cookies!

Pistachio Fluff Salad - You may call it pistachio delight, watergate salad or something else, but regardless the name it's such an easy and delicious dessert!

If you ask me, it’s not officially summertime until I’ve whipped up at least one batch of this amazing pistachio fluff salad dessert. I’m planning to make a big bowl for our 4th of July celebration next month and I’d highly recommend that you do the same!

If you’ve made this dessert before, I’d love to know what YOUR family calls it. Leave a comment below and let me know, and be sure to watch our fun tutorial video! :)


More Classic Summertime Recipes

Pistachio Fluff Salad Recipe

Pistachio Fluff Salad Recipe

This classic dessert is easy to make and tastes delicious every time.


  • 1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained (I used sweetened in its own juice).
  • 1 3.4oz. box pistachio instant pudding
  • 1 ¼ cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1 8oz. container whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • maraschino cherries for topping, optional


  1. In a large bowl stir together the pineapple and the pudding. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until well blended. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Optional, top with more chopped pecans and maraschino cherries. 

Pistachio Fluff Salad - You may call it pistachio delight, watergate salad or something else, but regardless the name it's such an easy and delicious dessert!

    10 Comments on “Pistachio Fluff Salad”

  1. Definitely making this in a few hours for our Christmas dessert! My Mother In Law said everyone would ask her to bring “that green stuff” to get together. Years ago when I was a Girl Scout Leader we called it Pistachio Fluff. For fundraising we’d hold our annual Spaghetti dinners along with salad, dinner rolls & of course Pistachio Fluff. It was always a huge hit & allowed our troop of girls to earn money for camp every year! I don’t recall adding marshmallows though so… I’m crossing my fingers! I have everything except those & I’m fairly certain I won’t find any stores open nearby. I’m betting that most of the girls; now we’ll into their 40’s are still making this and have passed it down to their children as well. Happy Holidays to all and TYFS!

  2. Can this recipe be made the day before? Looks delicious! 

  3. I also add mandarin oranges and shredded coconut that’s how my gram made it I make it every holiday

  4. Hi Crissy, I have a recipe similar to this that we call a “dump salad”….dump all ingr. in bowl and mix together. It has the pineapple, pistachio pudding, cool whip and a carton of cottage cheese. Sometimes I add marshmallows or cherries.

  5. We have green stuff but there are no marshmallows at all. It’s an entire can of crushed pineapple, mixed with a 6oz box of Lime Jello. Mix well and let sit for a couple of hours so that the pineapple can soften the gelatin. Then add a large container of cottage cheese (I prefer small curd, others prefer large curd, and some prefer no curd, if that’s the case just throw it the blender till it’s smooth) and add a regular container of nondairy whipped topping, mix all 4 ingredients together and chill over night.

    For storing it I’ve found that putting it shallow containers works best. I keep the cool whip containers and just keep using them. One batch of this fits in 3 cool whip containers. Taller containers cause more of the pineapple juice to settle to the bottom and it won’t keep the firm texture. Because of pineapple and cottage cheese it not only makes a great snack or dessert but it also makes a guilt free summer breakfast! If you ever lose this recipe, you’ll find it by Googling “green stuff”, there is also “orange stuff” and “red stuff” that only requires a change of Jello flavor

  6. I don’t drain my pineapple and have used the tidbits before (just as yummy), we’ve always called it Watergate Salad. No matter what you call it, it is SO good!

  7. As a kid I always called this “That Green Stuff that Grandma Makes.” ?  I haven’t seen this recipe in years, but I LOVE it and will absolutely be pinning this. Thank you for sharing!  Also, that milk glass serving bowl is stunning.. oh my goodness. ? 

  8. Hi Crissy,
    Finally someone who gets it about the “raw” marshmallows as I like to call it. I can eat them toasted, in a s’more, melted into hot chocolate or even love them in rice krispies treats. But I simply cannot eat a plain old marshmallow except in “green ambrosia” salad, as my grandmother used to call it. I really think it’s a textural thing with me. The marshmallow on its own just has too funky of a feel in my mouth. I find them disgusting, even the mini ones. However, in the salad, I think it’s mixed with the different textures of the fruit and especially the nuts that makes it tolerable, even enjoyable. Thanks for the recipe, it really takes me back. My grandmother’s was exactly the same except she sprinkled coconut into hers too.

  9. We just call it green salad!! Lol
    All the kids always eat some green salad!

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