Have you heard of Watergate Salad before? It’s a mixture between pistachio pudding, pineapple and pecans and it’s fabulous! This Watergate Lush Dessert is sure to please and a fun twist on the classic!
So this dessert.
If you’re an American (well, you probably know even if you aren’t from the States), you probably know about the Watergate Scandal.
I’m not going to go into politics, so I’ll spare ya the details, but basically from the scandal came… a salad?
Still not sure how the two are linked. But I digress.
From the scandal has come the salad, originated from Kraft Foods called a Pistachio Pineapple Delight. Someone down the line renamed it “Watergate Salad” and the rest was history.
Then some ladies made a Watergate Cake and their reasoning was: “the frosting is a ‘cover-up’ and it’s filled with nuts.” Good enough for me!
So back to this lush: It’s a cover-up filled with pistachio and pineapple… and it’s filled with nuts. Voila! History is explained, one dessert at a time. You’re welcome, historians.
Admittedly, this flavor combination is a little old-fashioned. In my lifetime I’d never heard of Watergate Salad until I was a food blogger in the last 6 years. BUT it’s intrigued me ever since, and now I’m glad to have made this Lush to try it out. Hey, those people are onto something, because there’s something very uniquely delicious about this wild combination. And of course, the bright green color.
It’s just like my other lush desserts, which starts with a cookie crust. For this, I used pecan shortbread (aka, Pecan Sandies) cookies. I topped it off with a creamy, fluffy pistachio & pineapple filling and topped that with whipped cream and pecans. (Traditionally, the salad also has miniature marshmallows… but I decided to let people decide if they wanted to top the salad with the marshmallows). It’s unexpected, it’s unique, and it’s totally something you should make once in your lifetime, even if you never grew up with Watergate Salad.
I’m thinking I’m going to Watergate everything from now on, ‘kay?
- 1 (11 oz) pkg pecan shortbread cookies (such as Pecan Sandies), coarsely crushed
- 5 Tbsp butter, melted
- 1 (3.4-3.9 oz) pkg instant pistachio pudding mix
- 1 cup milk
- ⅔ cup crushed pineapple, well drained
- 1 (16 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed & divided
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- Lightly grease an 8x8" square pan with cooking spray; set aside. In a large bowl, combine the coarse cookie crumbs and butter until moistened. Press evenly into the prepared pan and set aside.
- Wipe out the bowl and add in the pistachio pudding mix and the milk. Whisk until thickened, about 2 minutes. Fold in the pineapple and 2 cups of the Cool Whip until combined and fluffy.
- Spread the filling into the prepared pan in an even layer. Top with the remaining Cool Whip and the pecans.
- Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or overnight, until set. Cut into squares to serve.
Fluffy, smooth, creamy and packed with flavor, this unique lush dessert will be sure to please everyone who tries it!
Have a super sweet weekend!