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vegan watergate salad in flowered bowl

Watergate Salad, Vegan Friendly and Oil-Free

Course: Dessert, party food
Cuisine: American
Keyword: vegan holiday food, watergate salad
Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
chill time: 3 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 267kcal
Author: Cindy Rainey
This vegan watergate salad is a remake of the classic pistachio-flavored jello pudding mix cool whip and fruit salad. The green fluff is made vegan with silken tofu and cashews. This veganized ambrosia salad has a little bit different twist with the canned fruits and vegan marshmallows.
Print Recipe


  • high-speed blender


  • 1 cups raw cashews
  • 15 ounces mandarin oranges, canned drained
  • 20 ounces crushed pineapple, canned drained
  • 30 ounces fruit cocktail, canned drained
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 3.5 ounces pistachio pudding mix instant
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 14 ounces silken tofu
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cups vegan marshmallows


  • Soak the raw cashews in very hot water for about 1 hour. Drain.
  • Open the canned fruit and drain well in a strainer. Set aside.
  • Scoop out ½ cup coconut cream from the top layer of a can of coconut milk. Set aside. Discard or save the rest for another use.
  • Open and drain the silken tofu. Do not press it but gently dry with a paper towel. Allow to rest on a dry paper towel while you are preparing the other ingredients.
  • Add the soaked and drained cashews and the drained silken tofu to a high-speed blender along with the powdered sugar, coconut milk, pistachio pudding mix, and vanilla extract.
  • Blend for 2-3 minutes till nice and smooth.
  • Add the drained canned fruit and vegan marshmallows to a large bowl. Pour the blended pudding mixture on top and fold it all together. You might end up with a little extra green pudding mixture. I just make pudding cups and eat the next day. See blog post for details.
  • Chill in the fridge for about 3 hours. It will set up when chilled.


You MUST disclose to anyone eating this watergate fruit salad that it contains cashews and soy. They are both serious allergins and are not typically found in food such as this.
Please use raw unsalted cashews. If you use salted, roasted cashews then you will need to soak overnight and triple rinse to remove the salt.
The cashew soaking time is included in the prep time. Be sure to reserve time to chill - at least three hours. 
If you are here for the dairy-free pistachio cream mixture, then use any marshmallows you'd like. If you are here for the vegan-friendly pistachio fruit salad, I like Dandies  vegan miniature marshmallows, the best!  This affiliate link is for two bags. You will only need bag for this recipe - including any extra toppings. That's okay, because I usually end up just eating half a bag anyway...
The serving size is for 12 one-half cup servings. It's pretty rich and you won't need a lot more than that. If you serve three-fourths a cup each then you will get 8 servings.
One flaw with this recipe is that you will have too much of the pistachio mixture for the fruit. It doesn't really work well to add more fruit or marshmallows and in fact is perfect as is (except that you will have over one-half cup too much pistachio mixture.) I use what I need for the salad and pour the rest into small containers for pistachio pudding snack. top with marshmallow, fresh fruit, or anything else for a quick little surprise snack. 
This will keep refrigerated for up to five days. It might separate a little. Just stir together before serving. 


Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 267kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 137mg | Potassium: 323mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 40g | Vitamin A: 636IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 2mg