Marshmallow Fruit Salad

This easy green Marshmallow Fruit Salad is a simple side dish or dessert for parties and everyday meals. 

Crushed pineapple, pistachio pudding, mini marshmallows and Cool Whip mix together for a classic marshmallow salad recipe in less than 5 minutes!

Side view of vintage glass bowl with a heaping serving of fruit salad with marshmallows on top on a colorful napkin

If you like this traditional recipe you may also enjoy Cottage Cheese Salad with Pineapple and Overnight Salad.

Easy Marshmallow Salad Recipe

A creamy green fluff that crushed pineapple blends into so nicely and adds a barely noticeable enhancement, the mini marshmallows are the real star of this salad.

Soft and sweet with a little bit of squishy, mini marshmallows are a fun way to make a creamy salad even better.

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We like to both mix marshmallows into the fruit salad and sprinkle them on top. Traditional white mini marshmallows are fine, but we find that using the Jet Puffed fruity-fun marshmallows looks even better. The marshmallows are colored pink with a light strawberry flavor, orange and green with a lemon lime flavor.

Also known as Watergate Salad or Pistachio Marshmallow Salad, my mom made this recipe for helpers on the farm that were baling hay and straw several times each summer while I was growing up. She got this recipe and this Grape Salad recipe from my grandma.

Silver serving spoon with creamy, fluffy green fruit marshmallow salad above the dish full on a multi colored napkin

My grandma was known to mix up a 7 Up Jello Salad or Cherry Coke Jello Salad that take a couple hours to set-up. Where the farm help ate a good meal was guaranteed as part of the gig!

Fruit Salad With Marshmallows

With just four ingredients that have a good shelf life the Fruit Salad With Marshmallows recipe ingredients are easy to keep on hand.  The funmallows are my kid’s favorite part of this recipe. 

The kids like to grab a couple hand fulls of colorful mini marshmallows in between stirring.  One handful to eat and one handful to sprinkle on top! Regular mini marshmallows can be used too.

Another simple dessert salad they like to help me make is our Classic Cookie Salad. Of course they snack on broken pieces of Fudge Stripe Cookies when making this one.

Bowl full of marshmallow salad with colorful mini marshmallows pushed in the green pudding, pineapple and Cool Whip mixture along with more marshmallows stirred in

Why This Recipe Works:

  • Easy to mix up by hand in under 10 minutes
  • Fruity fun mini marshmallows make the recipe more fun
  • This is a classic recipe that people gravitate towards at potlucks
  • The marshmallow fruit salad can be mixed the day before which makes it convenient

Ingredients Needed:

  • Crushed Pineapple – I use a large can in natural juice.
  • Instant Pistachio Pudding – name brand or generic work fine, just be sure to get instant as the cook and serve will not work here.
  • Mini marshmallows – we like using Funmallows or the Jet-Puffed as the name brand does tend to be a higher quality than generic with marshmallows.
  • Whipped Topping – defrost in the refrigerator per the directions on the package before mixing into the salad.
  • Pecans or Walnuts – are optional. My mom never used nuts, but this is about personal preference.
  • Maraschino cherries – are an optional topping or garnish that add more color.
Ingredients for marshmallow fruit salad are multi colored mini marshmallows, crushed pineapple, Cool Whip, chopped walnuts, and instant pistachio pudding mix on a wooden brown counter top

Step By Step Instructions

Pour undrained pineapple into a mixing bowl.  Then sprinkle pudding mix on top.

Box of instant pistachio pudding poured into a small bowl with crushed pineapple

Stir the mixture together well until it is a uniform green color.

Spatula in green salad stirring things together

Sprinkle mini marshmallows on top and add Cool Whip. Use a spatula to gently fold the whipped topping into the fruit salad.

Funmallow mini marshmallows and Cool Whip poured into a mixing bowl to make a marshmallow salad

Continue folding from the outsides and bottom of the bowl until the mixture is a uniform light green color. If there are streaks more gently stirring is necessary to blend the pudding mixture and Cool Whip.

If using, add nuts and stir by hand.

Chopped walnuts poured on top of fruit salad with marshmallows

Chill for an hour before serving.

Can I Make This Salad the Night Before?

Yes, watergate salad can be mixed up the night before and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Watergate salad is best eaten within 2 – 3 for the best consistency and flavor distribution.

Unfortunately watergate salad does not freeze well.

Recipe for marshmallow fruit salad with the ingredients being stirred together in a white mixing bowl with a spatula

Other Easy Dessert Recipes:

We hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we do!

Spoon in a bowl full of green marshmallow fruit salad with colorful mini marshmallows sitting on top

Marshmallow Fruit Salad

Servings 8 people
Author: Jennifer
This easy green Marshmallow Fruit Salad is a simple side dish or dessert for parties and everyday meals. 
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 1 20 ounce can crushed pineapple undrained
  • 1 3.4 ounce box instant pistachio pudding
  • 1 1/2 cups small multi colored marshmallows
  • 8 ounces whipped topping
  • 1 cup walnuts or pecans optional


  • Mix undrained pineapple with pudding by pouring pudding into pineapple.  Stir. 
  • Gently fold in marshmallows and Cool Whip.
  • Add nuts if using; stir by hand.
  •  Chill before serving.


Calories: 168kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 3gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 30mgPotassium: 96mgFiber: 1gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 53IUVitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 45mgIron: 0.5mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Plowing Through Life” is not a dietitian or nutrition professional. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate and can vary greatly depending on specific products are used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator of your choice.

Tried this recipe?Mention @PlowingThroughLife or tag #PlowingThroughLife!

Originally published December 16, 2018 with updates made on April 21, 2023.

Collage of Watergate Salad with colored mini marshmallows


  1. Karin Hill says:

    Do you make the pudding before you mix it in with the pineapple

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      Hey There! We just mix the pudding mix into the undrained can of pineapple and stir well. Hope you enjoy!

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