Watergate Salad Makes a Comeback According to NY Times

Watergate Salad Makes a Comeback According to NY Times

The Watergate Salad: A Holiday Side Dish Turned Viral Sensation


The Watergate salad, a popular holiday side dish across the United States, has recently gained internet fame thanks to a TikTok video that went viral. As interest in this ambrosia-adjacent dish peaks around the holidays, many have been curious to try it for the first time. Here's a recipe for those eager to give it a try:


  • 1 (3.4 oz) package instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 1/2 cups whipped topping (such as Cool Whip)


  1. In a large bowl, combine the pistachio pudding mix and crushed pineapple. Mix well.
  2. Stir in the mini marshmallows and chopped pecans.
  3. Gently fold in the whipped topping until well combined.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Note: Some recipes may include maraschino cherries or coconut as additional ingredients.

The Watergate Salad's History and Popularity

The origin of the Watergate salad's name and recipe remains a mystery, with two prevailing theories suggesting that it may have been created by a chef at the Watergate Hotel or by food companies looking to sell their products. Its inclusion of incongruous ingredients like pistachio pudding mix and canned pineapple has been critical to its enduring popularity.

While the Watergate salad's cloyingly sweet taste may make it seem like a dessert, it is typically enjoyed as a side dish alongside savory centerpieces like ham and turkey. Despite being a staple for many families across the American South and Midwest, its classification as a salad remains a curiosity for those outside the country: "This is the only country in the world where you can actually sometimes not distinguish between the dessert and the salad," says food historian Laura Shapiro.


Whether you're a longtime fan or a first-time taster, the Watergate salad's viral resurgence is sure to spark interest in this quirky holiday side dish. Try out the recipe above and see for yourself why it has become an enduring legacy of midcentury American cuisine.

Originally Post From https://www.nytimes.com/2023/12/11/dining/watergate-salad.html

Read more about this topic at
Watergate Salad Makes a Comeback
Watergate Salad Makes a Comeback