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Pistachio Salad dessert is always served at our family gatherings. With whipped cream and marshmallows, it’s always a hit!

Everyone loves fluffy Pistachio Salad! This cool & creamy sweet salad is perfect for summer, similar to our Ambrosia Salad or Cheesecake Fruit Salad.

Bowl filled with pistachio salad topped with pistachio nuts.

Pistachio Pudding Salad

Looking for something yummy and different to bring to your next summer potluck? Pistachio pudding salad is it. It’s pretty much a dessert, but who said you can’t have dessert first??

Nothing better than a cool sweet side dish on a hot summer day. Perfectly paired with hamburgers and hot dogs. Or whatever is cooking on the grill!

Pistachio Salad goes by a lot of different names such as the Watergate salad, pistachio delight, green stuff, green fluff, green goop, green Jell-O salad, and pistachio mallow salad. Either way, it is so delicious!

Bowl of Pistachio pudding salad mix with marshmallows.

How to Make Pistachio Jello Salad

This is a big pistachio salad which makes it great for taking to picnics and potlucks with friends. It serves about 12 people which is awesome! You’ll only need a FOUR ingredients to make this pistachio pudding salad:

  • Crushed pineapple
  • instant pistachio pudding mix
  • frozen whipped topping
  • mini marshmallows

COMBINE. Start by combing the drained canned pineapple and the dry pistachio pudding mix in a big bowl. Make sure your whipped topping is thawed because it will be easier to handle.

FOLD. Fold in the whipped topping and mini marshmallows to your pudding/pineapple mixture. Mix it all together until its well combined.

CHILL + SERVE. Cover it up and put it in the refrigerator to chill before serving. Put a dollop of whipped topping on top and sprinkle with some chopped pistachios for a extra touch.

Recipe tips

Quickly thaw cool whip. Cool whip should thaw in the fridge over the space of about 4 hours.

  • If you accidentally forgot about thawing it there are lots of different methods to use. Leave it on the counter for a max of 2 hours, the texture may not be as good but it is quicker than waiting for the fridge.
  • Another method is using the defrost button on the microwave: defrost for 30 seconds and then stir, put in the fridge for 2-3 minutes and repeat until it is the right texture.
  • The last method involves a large bowl of cold water. Let the cool whip container float in the water for 30-40 minutes, then it should be ready to use.


  • The longer this salad is kept around the more likely it is for the cool whip to melt. To help avoid this I would recommend not letting it sit out at room temperature for very long, not even for more than 30 minutes.
  • Drain and pat dry the pineapple to help keep it from adding too much added liquid to the salad.
  • Make sure you use INSTANT pudding
  • To get a fluffy texture make sure you fold in your cool whip, you don’t want to crush all of the air out of it.
Pistachio pudding recipe in white bowl with chopped pistachios sprinkled on top.

VariationS + STORING

There are a lot of easy delicious easy to change up the salad:

  • maraschino cherries
  • mandarin oranges
  • can of fruit cocktail
  • sprinkle on coconut
  • sprinkled on nuts like chopped pecans or walnuts

STORE covered tightly with plastic wrap, or keep in an airtight container. This salad only be good for about 3-4 days because sometimes the moisture from the pineapple likes to leak out and separate the cool whip by adding more water to the salad.

For Other holiday sides:

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5 from 112 votes

Pistachio Salad Recipe

By: Lil’ Luna
Pistachio salad dessert is always served at our family gatherings. With whipped cream and marshmallows, it's always a hit!
Servings: 12
Prep: 5 minutes
Chill Time: 30 minutes
Total: 35 minutes


  • 1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple drained
  • 1 (3 ounce) package instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 8 ounces frozen whipped topping thawed
  • ½ (10.5 ounce) package miniature marshmallows
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  • Combine drained pineapple and dry pistachio pudding mix in a large bowl. Fold in thawed whipped topping and marshmallows. Mix until well combined. Chill in refrigerate before serving.



Serving: 12g, Calories: 43kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 0.4mg, Sodium: 15mg, Potassium: 19mg, Fiber: 0.001g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 14IU, Vitamin C: 0.01mg, Calcium: 13mg, Iron: 0.02mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
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Adapted from

About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Recipe Rating


  1. Anna M says:

    5 stars
    Can I make this 2 days in advance Making for 75 people.

    1. Lil'Luna Team says:

      Yes you can. The salad really only lasts about 3-4 days because sometimes the moisture from the pineapple will leak out or separate the cool whip a bit. Also, if making ahead, I would assemble everything but leave out the marshmallows. Add those in just before serving. Hope you enjoy!

  2. Jerry says:

    5 stars
    A lady at Church made this yesterday for our Family Fall Festival dinner. I fell in love with it and will be making it over and over again and again. So yummy..

  3. Barbara says:

    5 stars
    Great!!!! !!!So good

  4. Corinne Fehr says:

    5 stars
    Love this salad! It’s a favorite of both our families, so I usually double the recipe.

  5. Racheal Beza says:

    On pistachio salads cool whip in can be used? And why do you say not frozen cool whip?
    One package of instant pistachio mixed made small amount need to double batch.

  6. Jasmine Randall says:

    5 stars
    We have been making this since I was a kid (I’ll be 33 come February). The only difference with ours is we don’t put marsh mallows in it and we call it “martian dump” 😂😂😂😂 it definitely good but I could be bias.

  7. Penny says:

    5 stars
    I made this for my husbands work crew (11 guys) As they, a lot of times work the holidays (coal mine) I try and fix a meal for them on those occasions. I made a Thanksgiving meal and this salad. They are always grateful for the meal, but they especially went crazy for this dessert salad! I also added a couple cut up bananas.
    Don’t know if I’d do that if it wasn’t going to get eaten all at one sitting but with them it is all gone at one sitting! : )

    1. Lil'Luna Team says:

      I bet the bananas were yummy… especially if eaten right away. I’m happy to hear the salad was a hit! Thanks for sharing.

  8. Debbie says:

    5 stars
    Easy and delisciou!!

    1. Kristyn Merkley says:

      Thank you so much!!

  9. Kendra says:

    5 stars
    Just made thiS! I Had to make a last minute salad for a party… this was quick and tasty!!