Cousin Betty’s Best Pistachio Pudding

· · · ·

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. When you click on a link and/or make a purchase, I may be paid a small commission at no additional cost to you. Additionally, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read my Disclosure page for more information.

Cousin Betty’s Best Pistachio Pudding Recipe – you’ll love the combination of sweet and salty flavors in this retro sweet salad.


I’m sharing a retro salad from the family recipe box today, courtesy of my Mom’s Cousin Betty.

Cousin Betty was a phenomenal cook. Everything she made was off the charts, crazy delicious. Her Peanut Butter Pie was legendary in my family. The competition for the last slice of pie could be quite heated. And her homemade Chicken & Noodles? Gah! The ultimate comfort food – sooo good!

Cousin Betty's Best Pistachio Pudding feature closeup | A Reinvented Mom


Betty served this sweet salad at countless family gatherings and holiday dinners. She particularly enjoyed serving the pretty green dish at the Christmas holidays. She made sure I included that fact when I copied her recipe card.

I’ve learned this well-loved dish is also known by other names. Several friends refer to this lovely green salad as “Watergate Salad”. Curious about the dual names, I did a little research.

According to the Kraft website, the dish was originally called “Pistachio Pineapple Delight”. Some time later, marshmallows were added to the recipe and the name changed to “Watergate Salad”. Coincidentally (or not?) the Watergate scandal was unfolding at the time of the name change.

Best Pistachio Pudding Step 1 | A Reinvented Mom


  • 5 Ingredients – I usually have crushed pineapple, Cool Whip, marshmallow and nuts on hand, so I only need to pick up a package of pistachio pudding mix at my local grocery store.
  • 2 Kitchen items – I LOVE this recipe because it only uses 2 (seriously, only TWO!) kitchen items. All you need is a mixing spoon and a mixing bowl. That’s it!
  • 5 Minutes – the amount of time it takes to mix the ingredients together. This has to be one the easiest recipes EVER!

Best Pistachio Pudding Step 2 | A Reinvented Mom


  • Picnics and backyard BBQ’s.
  • Holidays – Cousin Betty liked to serve this lovely green side dish at Christmas. It’s also an obvious choice for St. Patrick’s Day. And let’s be frank, Pistachio Pudding is a tasty addition to any holiday menu. Or backyard BBQ. Or neighborhood potluck.
  • As with many Midwestern Jell-O salads, you can serve Pistachio Pudding Salad as a side dish or dessert. I personally prefer to serve it as a side dish. So I can have a slice of cake for dessert. But that’s just me.

I enjoy preparing the old, family favorite recipes.  It’s goes beyond knowing it will be a fantastic tasting dish.

Even more enjoyable are the memories of the original cook. And the good times shared when we gathered for family meals. It gives me all the feels.

Do you have a family recipe box? I’d love to know what your favorite family dishes are. Share your faves by dropping a comment below.



More Vintage Fruit Salad Recipes:


Betty's Best Pistachio Pudding Pin | A Reinvented Mom

Follow A Reinvented Mom on Pinterest, Instagram, Yummly and Twitter.




Betty's Best Pistachio Pudding feature | A Reinvented Mom


Cousin Betty’s Best Pistachio Pudding Recipe – you’ll love the combination of sweet and salty flavors in this sweet retro salad.
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Refrigeration: 1 hour
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 152kcal
Author: Lori @



  • 1 3.4 oz. instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 1 8 oz. Cool Whip
  • Half of a 10 oz. package mini marshmallows
  • 1 cup chopped nuts, pistachios or pecans taste great


  • Combine the dry pistachio pudding mix with the undrained crushed pineapple in a large bowl and mix until well incorporated.
  • Add mini marshmallows, chopped pistachios and Cool Whip. Stir gently to combine.
  • Chill for an hour or two before serving.


  • Reserve a tablespoon of chopped nuts for garnish.
  • Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and maraschino cherries.
  • Refrigerate leftovers.
  • Makes a pretty side dish for the Christmas holidays.
Tried this recipe?Mention @AReinventedMom or tag #areinventedmom!


Calories: 152kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Sodium: 16mg | Potassium: 64mg | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 0.5mg

Nutritional information is provided as a reference, using an online calculator. We recommend verifying the information independently for accuracy.

Keyword: best pistachio pudding recipe, pistachio pudding dessert, watergate salad


Similar Posts


  1. This used to be called Watergate Salad, first published in 1975 or 1976.
    We used to make this all the time. Still delish!

  2. Will be trying this one too 🙂 It wasn’t a holiday without my Ma’s pistachio pie. ( it’s not exactly a pie… it is made in a 9×12 class cake pan). Sometimes you just wish for a piece of pistachio pie and this may be the remedy ! Maybe this will help satisfy those cravings and fill the long gaps between holidays !

  3. This salad brings back so many sweet memories for our family. And Cousin Betty was an amazing cook. I remember this at our family dinners. Thanks for sharing Lori of our wonderful memories of our awesome childhood. ❤

    1. I love that preparing and eating a simple dish can bring so many memories bubbling up, Toodie. We were blessed with the best!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating