Pistachio Ambrosia

Monday, March 8, 2021
This dessert has so many names we call it Pistachio Ambrosia, it's also referred to as Watergate salad, Pistachio Delight or Shut the Gate salad, Green Goop, Green Goddess salad, Green Fluff, or Green Stuff.

There are also several stories of how this salad got its name from Kraft saying a food editor wrote about this but was never substantiated or found for sure.

Regardless the recipe was started somewhere in the midwest in the 1970s and the recipe calls for instant pudding, so use whatever kind you prefer.

I love taking this to picnics and pot lucks and many times have just used vanilla instant pudding instead of pistachio for those who may have nut allergies and tinted it green or the theme of the party.

This popular whipped topping, fruit, and pudding dessert is always a big hit and of course, the kids go crazy over the mini marshmallows, (and the young at heart).

This basic recipe is great for baby /gender reveal parties since you can tint it to the color of plain vanilla pudding which makes a fun theme.

I make this more often in the summer months, I even tell the kids at a picnic it's a nonmelting delicious ice cream the little ones just love this but they don't like coconut so I leave it out.

Again a recipe is a guideline, change and adapt away, use fresh fruits, more marshmallows no nut more nuts, just get creative, it's the easiest dessert ever made in minutes.

If you love no-bake no-cook dessert you have to try my Strawberry Cream Pie made with fresh fruits, it's another adaptable recipe and so delicious.

Just scroll down the recipe card for these easy printable instructions

this is fluffy marshmallow dessert with pineapple, oranges, fruit cocktail, instant pudding and whipped cream

Make this easy dessert all year round

Ambrosia is the perfect dessert for green-themed holidays.

We love making this for St. Patrick's Day or Christmas it's already green with pistachio instant pudding but if you use plain vanilla instant pudding you can tint this to any party theme you like!!

Don't forget to check our additional fruit suggestions, we have made this with fresh or canned fruits many times and perfect for a summertime picnic outing.

A few ingredients and no time this dessert will be on your table.

This recipe is step by step so check out the photos below and see how easy this is to make.

this is a pistachio pudding fluffy whipped cream and fruit dessert with mini marshmallows

Ingredients You Will Need Scroll all the way to the bottom for exact measurements on the recipe card

  • pistachio instant pudding
  • non-dairy whipped topping
  • mandarin oranges, crushed pineapple, and fruit cocktail
  • coconut
  • Optional: pistachio nuts shelled, more coconut and maraschino cherries

this is a bowl of canned fruit that goes into a recipe for ambrosia which is a fluffy whipped cream dessert


  • for those who have nut allergies use french vanilla instant pudding
  • this can be tinted with food coloring to match the theme of the party IE baby gender reveals, Christmas red or green, St. Patrick's Day in green, Blue for Patriot holidays
  • You can use all fresh fruits and add the water to the pineapple around 1/2 cup instead of canned
  • Finely chopping the coconut resulted in a better-textured to eat if adding to the dessert
  • Whipped cream can be used but has to eat right away or it gets watery
  • Refrigerating the dessert at least 3 hours before serving
  • I love the mini marshmallows so add more than the original recipe calls for you can add less and more fruit if you like

this is a bowl of the ingredients to make a fluffy no cook creamy dessert

Other Suggestions:

  • strawberries sliced
  • blueberries
  • diced fresh pineapples
  • fresh peaches
  • use sunflower seeds for nut allergies
  • fresh cherries

Other Recipes T Try

Oreo Truffles
Peanut Butter Krispies Eggs
Rum Balls
Buckeye Bars
Pistachio Cake
Pistachio Biscotti

Pin for later

this is a pin for later on how to make Watergate salad or Pistachio Ambrosia

Easy Recipe

The recipe is super simple with just a few ingredients and a great dessert all year round, it's so refreshing and fruit-filled.

It's perfect for parties and we can all feel like a kid again because it's a true delight no matter what age you are.

Get ready to print this off because this is a popular dessert no-cook recipe everyone absolutely loves.

Pistachio Ambrosia

Pistachio Ambrosia

Yield: 8
Author: Claudia Lamascolo
Prep time: 5 MinTotal time: 5 Min
Perfect for bringing to a picnic, parties, and or any event. This non-dairy creamy marshmallow fluffy dessert with fruit will be a hit no matter when you serve it's so fast and easy to make!


  • 1 (3 1/2 ounce) package instant pistachio pudding mix(dry) or use instant vanilla to tint with food coloring for the party themed colors
  • 1 -8 ounce can mandarin oranges drained
  • 1 - 8 ounce can crushed pineapple with juice
  • 1 can of fruit cocktail drained
  • 3 cups  miniature marshmallow
  • 1 8 - ounce container non-dairy whipped topping see footnotes
  • 1 cup of coconut 
  • Note: We prefer to add coconut as a garnish instead of in this dessert 
  • Optional garnish:  maraschino cherries blotted dry, chopped pistachios, and coconut


  1. Drain the mandarin oranges and fruit cocktail in a colander.
  2. In a large bowl add the crushed pineapple with juice and pour in the packet of pistachio instant pudding. 
  3. Mix all together until well combined.
  4. Add the rest of the fruit ( with the coconut if using).
  5. Fold in the non-dairy whipped topping and marshmallows.
  6. Pour into a see-through bowl if preferred.
  7. Garnish with cherries, pistachios, and coconut.
  8. Chill around 3 hours before serving.


This recipe can be doubled. Real heavy cream sweetened with sugar can be used but will have to be eaten the same day as the next day it gets watery. Also, for food safety do not bring to an outdoor picnic using real cream.



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pistachio ambrosia, fluffy pistachio dessert, marshmallow pudding dessert, fruit, pudding and whipped cream dessert, ambrosia, Watergate salad
fruit salad recipes, Watergate salad recipes, pistachio pudding recipes, instant pudding recipes, marshmallow recipes, dessert recipes
American, French
Created using The Recipes Generator

Pin for later

this is a pin for later St. Patrick's Day mug filled with Pistachio Ambrosia and this is how to make that recipe

Don't Forget To Try Some Of My Other Pistachio Recipes!

Shamrock Cookies

Pistachio Ambrosia

Pistachio Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

Pistachio Cake with Sugar Cone Christmas Trees

Halloween Pistachio Witches Fingers

Pistachio and Amaretto Fudge

Disclosure: This recipe was originally shared in 2012. It was edited and re-published in 2021.


  1. It looks delightful and delicious!
    Happy St.Patrick's Day!

  2. It looks fantastic!Have a lovely weekend,dear!

  3. Oh, I love ambrosia!!! And I love how you've made it so festive :)

  4. You are always the perfect place to come to for celebrations! I love this and even have pistachio pudding that mysteriously appeared in my cupboard. Love a sweet ambrosia.

  5. What a perfect dessert for St. Patrick's Day. It looks beautiful. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  6. What a sweet treat for St. Pat's day! I love that you made it pistachio flavor! Delish.

  7. Dear Claudia, What a delightful dessert. I just love it. Happy St. Patty's Day. Blessings my dear, Catherine xoxo

  8. I have never seen this before. It looks amazing though!

  9. I just love ambrosia desserts…This one looks incredibly delicious and so pretty!

  10. WOW!!! Wonderful, Claudia! Love the variations too. Have a great rest of the weekend. :)

  11. oh yum!! I love everything about this recipe!!

  12. This is a wonderful post. I do not think I have even seen a recipe for this ever. I have eaten it once at a brunch and it was really tasty. Glad to come across this one. Tropical desserts are always welcome and your pictures are so enticing-yum!


Remember to use the search option for a recipe you're looking for and thanks for all your kind words and support. We love our readers all the best Claudia