Watergate Salad Recipe

Published on October 11th 2022 by Chigoziri Nwachuku.
Last updated on March 4th 2024
This recipe, developed through the collective effort of at least six experts, underwent meticulous research and testing for over three months. Learn more about our process in the art and science behind our recipes. This post may contain affiliate links. Read our Disclosure Policy.
Front View of Watergate Salad Recipe

We are looking for a side salad that also acts as dessert. Try our homemade Watergate Salad Recipe. It's everything you'd ever want in a salad. The pineapples add tanginess and sweetness, the cream cheese and heavy whipping cream make it extra luscious, and the chopped pecans add a lovely crunchiness. Meanwhile, the marshmallows add a playful touch.  

You'll start making your own Cool Whip to make the salad. First, using a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until it's fluffy. Then slowly add heavy whipping cream, and continue mixing with the hand mixer. Next, add powdered sugar and vanilla extract, mixing with the hand mixer until soft peaks appear.

Finally, add instant pistachio pudding mix, crushed pineapple, mini marshmallows, and pecans, stirring with a spatula. Then place in the fridge to chill.

What are the ingredients for the Watergate salad?

The ingredients for the Watergate salad are cream cheese, heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, instant pistachio pudding mix, crushed pineapple, mini marshmallows, and pecans.

Why do they call it a Watergate salad?

There are a couple of theories about why it's called a Watergate salad. One idea is that the salad was developed by a sous chef who worked at the Watergate hotel, but this theory has never been confirmed. On the other hand, Kraft claims to have invented the salad and called it Pistachio Pineapple Delight in 1975. Then a food editor in Chicago renamed the salad Watergate salad to attract more readers, as the salad was developed a year after Nixon resigned due to the Watergate scandal.

How do you make a Watergate?

To make this Watergate, we began by making our own homemade Cool Whip. Next, we beat the cream cheese until fluffy using a hand mixer. Then slowly add heavy cream while mixing. Then we added powdered sugar and vanilla extract, mixing with the hand mixer until soft peaks appeared.

Finally, we added instant pistachio pudding mix, crushed pineapple, mini marshmallows, and pecans and stirred with a spatula. And we placed the Watergate in the fridge to chill. 

How long does watergate salad last in the fridge?

Watergate salad lasts about 3 to 5 days in the fridge, placed in an airtight container.

Average: 5 (3 votes)
Total rating includes sum of all comments and anonymous votes.

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Time & Serves

Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
0 mins
Total Time
20 mins
10 persons


  • 8 ounces Cream Cheese, softened

  • 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream

  • 1/2 cup Powdered Sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

  • 3.4 ounce package Instant Pistachio Pudding Mix

  • 20-ounce can Crushed Pineapple, undrained

  • 2 cups Mini Marshmallows

  • 3/4 cups Pecans, chopped


To a large bowl, add cream cheese. Using a hand mixer on medium speed, beat for 1 to 2 minutes, until cream cheese is fluffy.

Creaming cream cheese

Slowly add the heavy cream 1/4 cup at a time while mixing on medium speed.

Creaming the heavy cream

Once all the heavy cream has been added, add powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Mix until soft peaks appear.

Adding sugar

Add pistachio pudding mix, crushed pineapple, mini marshmallows, and 1/2 cup chopped pecans. Stir with a spoon or spatula. 

adding more  ingredients

Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.  Place in serving bowls, garnishing with the rest of the crushed pecans.

Serving the Salad
Chigoziri Nwachuku

Cooking up health and flavor: Chichi's recipes redefine nutritious eating. Healthy food doesn’t have to taste bland!

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