A Perfect Spring Dessert Recipe

Dare I say it is finally, finally starting to look more like spring around here?  The past two days have been sunny, by mid-day jackets are no longer needed and I can hear birds chirping and bees buzzing outside my window!  Not to mention Easter is already this Sunday! What?! Like clockwork this weather reminds me it is time to make one of my families' favorite treats and traditions- a "Watergate Salad".  Now I only learned the true name of this upon research for this post-my family has many names for it-Natalie calls it "My Favorite Dessert", my husband calls it "The Stuff You Make for Parties in the Summer" and Kara simply calls it "Good".  It is our favorite recipe that includes COOL WHIP whipped topping!  Here is the quick and easy recipe so you can make it for your family:


1 (8 oz.) container of thawed COOL WHIP whipped topping
(To thaw COOL WHIP, place unopened tub in the refrigerator for four hours)
1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapples in juice, undrained
1 (3.4 oz) pkg. Jell-O brand Pistachio flavor instant pudding
1 (15 oz.) can of Mandarin Oranges, drained 


1.  In a large bowl, mix together package of pistachio pudding mix with can of crushed pineapples, including the juice.
2.  Once mixed, let sit for about 5 minutes to thicken.
3.  Add entire container of thawed COOL WHIP and stir.
4.  Carefully fold in the drained can of mandarin oranges.

You are done!  This is the perfect recipe to get your kids involved with because it is so simple and really only involves mixing!  

It is best to refrigerate for about an hour prior to serving, as it lets the flavors mix and mingle and tastes best nice and chilled.

There are many variations on this salad, and you can be creative with what you include in the mix.  Sometimes I add a container of fruit salad instead of mandarin oranges, sometimes I add mini marshmallows.  You can also add chopped pecans-really whatever you please!

My girls got so excited today when they saw me gathering the ingredients in the kitchen to make this.   When they had a bowl full for their afternoon snack they both were in heaven!  I love how simple and easy this recipe is, and it makes a substantial amount so it is perfect to keep in the fridge all week to pull out as an everyday treat.  I always like to have COOL WHIP on hand to add to things to make them a bit more of a "moment" so to speak.  I personally like to add a dollop to my coffee in the morning, and the girls love to dip a simple cookie in it-it is cute to see how much more their eyes light up when COOL WHIP is involved!

For Easter I plan on making another one of my families' favorite desserts that includes COOL WHIP, the Berry Bliss cake. It doesn't seem like Easter without it!  Do you have any favorite COOL WHIP recipes to share? 

All images via Sweetie Pie Style

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  1. Yum! It would be pretty in a trifle bowl if you layered it with more cool whip - and the minty color is very on-trend right now ;)

  2. Trying this tonight! Smells so yummy! Thanks for the idea! Can't wait to see your triple berry post!