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Best Pistachio Salad Recipes

Best Pistachio Salad Recipes

Pistachio Salad Shopping Tips

Buy lettuce that is crisp and free of blemishes.

Pistachio Salad Cooking Tips

Before dressing, keep your salad chilled in the refrigerator to stay crisp.

5 Minute Pistachio Salad Recipe

This is seriously the easiest side dish to throw together. Light, fluffy and perfect for summer (or any time of year, really.) We often have it during the holidays.

I like to serve it around Christmas time, because I love the stunning, light green color. It is so easy to make and throw together, and has the most amazing flavor, with little bits of pistachio.

You could even serve this as a dessert, because it is so sweet and yummy.

You will want to try our delicious Strawberry Jello Fluff Salad. It’s a family favorite at most parties!

Recipe Summary

  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 large hot red chile, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 underripe medium peaches, very thinly sliced
  • 1 small jicama (about 8 ounces), peeled and cut into 1/8-inch-thick matchsticks
  • 3/4 cup shelled, salted pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups baby arugula

In a large bowl, combine the shallot, red chile, sugar and vinegar and let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the peaches, jicama and pistachios and toss well. Fold in the arugula and season with salt and pepper. Serve right away.


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Place the pistachios on a rimmed baking sheet and, when the oven is hot, roast until the nuts are lightly toasted and still somewhat soft, 5-6 minutes (they will firm up as they cool). Cool to room temperature, then coarsely chop, and set aside.
  2. To a medium bowl, add the olives, olive oil, shallot, vinegar, hot pickled peppers, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Give the mixture a quick stir and then set it aside.
  3. Slice off and discard the top and bottom of each citrus fruit. Stand the fruit upright on a cutting board, then use a sharp knife to cut away the rind and pith in strips from top to bottom, making sure to follow the contour of the fruit. Turn the fruit on its side and cut into pinwheels between ¼ and ½ inch thick. Alternatively, citrus that can be easily segmented like tangerines, clementines, or mandarin oranges may be broken into segments rather than cut into pinwheels. Remove and discard any seeds from the fruit. Arrange the fruit in a single even layer on a large platter. Garnish the fruit evenly with flaky salt, lightly crushing any large flakes between your fingers.
  4. Add the parsley and pistachios to the reserved olive relish and stir gently to combine. Spoon this mixture evenly over the top of the fruit, then generously drizzle with olive oil. (The salad should glisten with oil, and a little oil should pool at the bottom of the plate.) Serve at room temperature.


Bhaji Dana (Parsi-Style Fenugreek Leaves with Peas)

Bitter greens are an elegant foil to the sweetness of onions and green peas.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 anchovy fillets, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped unsalted pistachios
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 pound medium shrimp&mdashshelled, deveined and halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 pound cleaned squid, bodies cut into 1/4-inch-thick rings and tentacles left whole

In a mortar, pound the anchovies with the pistachios, capers, garlic and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil until fairly smooth. Stir in the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the lemon juice.

Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the shrimp and cook until just white throughout, about 20 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to a bowl. Add the squid to the saucepan and cook until just firm, about 20 seconds. Drain the squid and transfer them to the bowl.

Add the pistachio dressing to the bowl with the seafood and toss to coat. Mound the salad on plates and serve.

How to Make Pistachio Fluff

When I am preparing dishes for a get together I love having one or two recipes that are easy, can be made ahead, and only require a few simple ingredients.

  • whipped topping
  • instant pistachio pudding
  • mini marshmallows
  • crushed pineapple
  • chopped nuts (optional)

Simply add all the ingredients together (except the chopped nuts) and stir. So simple anyone can do it and so yummy no one will care that it only took 5 minutes to make!

Fruit and Pistachio Salad

  1. Prepare all the ingredients. You can use any type of greens, but I find that arugula or an arugula/spinach mix works the best in this salad. Also, you can use a regular red onion (finely chopped) instead of petit shallots.
  2. First, wash the pistachios thoroughly. It is best if you can soak them with a pinch of salt for 6-8 hours. After that, let them dry on a towel for a little bit. Slightly toast the pistachios on low heat. I prefer toasting them on a dry pan but it's also okay to use a little bit of good quality oil as well. For this recipe, I used sesame oil and toasted the pistachios on low heat.
  3. Wash the greens thoroughly and remove the excess water.
  4. Slice petit shallots thinly. The petit shallots should be very tender, not crunchy. Peel and chop the apple into cubes. I prefer chunky pieces. Chop the peach.
  5. Place greens, onion, apple, and peach in a salad bowl. Top with toasted pistachios (leave a little bit for final decoration) and crumbled feta, then give it a toss.
  6. Prepare the dressing by mixing olive oil, vinegar, honey, and a pinch of salt. Add the dressing to the salad and give it another good toss. Top the salad with the remaining pistachios. Serve and enjoy!

As always, salads provide a great opportunity to be creative with the recipe ingredients. You can substitute some of your favorite flavors to create your unique version of this salad. You don’t like honey? Go with maple syrup. Not a big fan of peaches? You can try oranges. Be creative, just try to maintain the same balance of ingredients as this recipe has.

Watergate Salad (Pistachio Delight) is a simple dessert salad made from pistachio pudding mixed with crushed pineapple, cool whip, mini marshmallows, and chopped pecans. I like to top this with my Easy Whipped Cream and maraschino cherries with an extra handful of chopped nuts.

Cool Whip vs Homemade Whipped Cream

The real crux of the favors you’re looking for here in this salad is the crushed pineapple with the pistachio pudding mix. Whether you choose to use a fresh whipped cream or a cool whip you can make either work with some careful planning. If you prefer a more natural route you should be much more careful about how long you let this recipe sit out. Cool whip is a stabilized product whether you make my recipe or you use the pre-made variety.

A fresh made whipped cream will taste delicious fresh from the fridge but will soon fall and melt. So if you’re looking to create a more homemade version take care to serve it immediately. If using homemade, refrigerate until you make this recipe then freeze the recipe for 20 minutes before serving to keep it as cold as possible.

You can also (instead of using a classic whipped cream recipe), use Cream Cheese Stabilized Whipped Cream, which will not melt at room temperature.

Not Just for Thanksgiving – Perfect for St. Patrick’s Day and Easter

This salad has a really nice light green color, which is why it’s also called the “green stuff” or “pistachio fluff”. It’s perfect for Easter or St. Patrick’s day parties. You can turn this into a kid-friendly activity by making my homemade marshmallows first, then using them for this salad recipe!


Want more nostalgic retro desserts? Here’s some other favorites!

Ambrosia Salad

Cranberry Ambrosia Salad

Grape Salad

Snickers Salad


Watergate Salad was initially made by Kraft in the 1975 as a promotional recipe for their new pudding called Pistachio Pineapple Delight, rewritten and renamed by the media over time.

The name “Watergate Salad” was originally coined by a columnist in Chicago, named for the presidential Watergate hotel scandal. The name just stuck, and now this is a popular salad for potlucks and parties across the country.

Recipe Summary

  • 1/2 cup shelled, unsalted pistachios
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white-wine vinegar
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 4 chicken cutlets (about 1 pound total)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh parsley
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces feta, crumbled
  • 2 navel oranges (peel and white pith removed), halved and thinly sliced

In a medium skillet, toast pistachios over medium heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant and golden, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate let cool. In a large bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup oil and vinegar season with salt and pepper, and set dressing aside.

Heat remaining tablespoon oil in skillet over medium. Sprinkle chicken with coriander season with salt and pepper. Cook (in batches if necessary), turning once, until opaque throughout, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board, and thinly slice crosswise.

Add pistachios, lettuce, parsley, and scallions to bowl with dressing, and toss to combine. Divide among serving bowls top with chicken, feta, and oranges.

Tips & Tricks For the Best Watergate Salad

  • Give your Watergate salad a subtle salty surprise by mixing in a cup of cottage cheese. A combination of cream cheese and whipped cream will also do the trick.
  • Top the salad with some sweet and juicy maraschino cherries for an extra burst of flavor. Plus, the color combination of the green fluff and red cherries just looks gorgeous!
  • Watergate salad is best served and eaten chilled. Refrigerating it for a few hours helps the pudding to set, which is why it&rsquos a great make-ahead dessert.
  • Want a lighter version? Use low-fat whipped topping and a can of crushed pineapple in water instead of juice.
  • Turn the salad into a faux-pie by serving it on a graham cracker crust. Delish!
  • Do not get rid of the pineapple juice. This ingredient is crucial in turning the dry pudding mix into actual pudding. But, if you drain it by accident, you can use water instead.
  • Not a fan of pistachio pudding mix? No problem! Use whatever pudding mix you prefer. Some good alternatives include coconut and chocolate pudding.
  • When shopping for canned pineapple, pick the one in water or juice. Pineapple with syrup is way too thick and won&rsquot combine well with the pudding mix. The syrup will also make the salad way too sweet.
  • Instead of regular mallows, use rainbow marshmallows to give your salad a splash of color! Pick out color combinations to suit every occasion.
  • You can also add whatever toppings you want to make your salad more exciting and flavorful. Some great options include chopped walnuts, shredded coconuts, sliced bananas, crushed pistachios, ice cream, and chocolate chips. Yum!
  • Store your salad properly for maximum freshness. Do not leave it out at room temperature for over 2 hours. Cover it well with plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze. It will last for 1-2 days in the fridge and up to 3 months in the freezer.
  • Not a fan of pineapple? You can use canned fruit cocktail or mandarin oranges instead.
  • No matter how much of a fan you are of marshmallows, don&rsquot put in too much. The mallows will soak up all the pineapple juice, making your salad super stiff.
  • People normally use Cool Whip for this recipe, but you may also use homemade whipped cream. Be sure to whip the cream until it becomes medium stiff. That way, it has the right level of fluffiness. Just keep in mind that salad with homemade whipped cream won&rsquot last as long because the cream will deflate much faster than Cool Whip.
  • While canned pineapple is a lot more convenient, you can also use fresh pineapples for this recipe. Slice pineapples into chunks and pulse in a food processor to crush them.