Looking for something light, refreshing, sweet, and easy to make? Give this pineapple fluff recipe a try. It’s all of those things and more!
Pineapple fluff is only one of many delicious fluff desserts, but it’s also one of the best. It has the same fluffy, creamy texture as all the others.
However, I think the taste is even better. I love the combination of pineapples, coconut, and Cool Whip. (And I often add maraschino cherries, as well.)
It’s a sweet, tropical, delightfully fluffy masterpiece. You’ll love it as much as I do.
Pineapple fluff goes by a lot of other names. It’s called green fluff, green goddess salad, and Watergate salad. (Though my Watergate salad recipe is slightly different from pineapple fluff.)
It really doesn’t matter what you call it. It’s the same delicious, cool-n-creamy treat.
It takes about 30 minutes (or less!) to make and requires as few as five ingredients. It needs 2 hours to chill, but other than that, it’s the ideal last-minute dessert option.
It’s like a non-boozy pina colada in dessert form. It’s hard to say no to something like that.
Here’s what you need for this recipe:
- Instant vanilla pudding mix – If you want a more Watergate-like salad, use pistachio pudding mix instead. Just be sure you get the instant kind, either way. That’s what makes the dessert so quick and easy.
- Crushed pineapples – Remember not to drain the juice. The liquid from the pineapples creates the pudding.
- Cool Whip – I prefer Cool Whip to homemade whipped topping for fluff recipes. Cool Whip is more shelf stable and can sit out a bit longer. Put it in the fridge to thaw the night before you want to make this dessert.
- Sweetened shredded coconut – You won’t get the rich, tropical flavor without the coconut. Plus, it adds a nice bit of texture.
- Mini marshmallows – White or colored mini marshmallows are fine.
- Nuts – The nuts are optional. But they add a delightful crunchy contrast that makes pineapple fluff even better. Most people use pecans or walnuts, but you can add whatever nuts you like best.
How to Make Pineapple Fluff
There are basically three steps to making this fun fluff dessert:
1. Make the pudding. Combine the pudding mix and pineapples. Mix it well until the pudding forms.
2. Add the other ingredients. Then, add in the rest of the ingredients. Be sure to mix well so that everything is incorporated.
3. Chill. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or an air-tight lid. Then, stick it in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours. Serve it and enjoy!
Tips for the Best Pineapple Fluff
Keep these few final tips in mind when preparing your fluff:
- Don’t drain the pineapples. Yes, I know I’ve mentioned this already. But seriously, the juice is important, so don’t forget it!
- Steer clear of syrup. Stores also sell pineapples canned in syrup. That’s not what you need for this recipe. Pay attention to the label to be sure you’re getting the right stuff.
- Be generous with the juice. Adding fresh pineapples to this recipe is fine. However, they won’t be quite juicy enough, so add a 1/2 cup of pineapple juice, as well.
- Don’t rush the chill time. The recipe needs at least 2 hours to chill. If you have 4-6 hours, that’s even better. Don’t cut the chill time short.
- Don’t freeze leftovers. I have instructions for storing your leftovers down below. But don’t try to freeze them. While doing so is technically safe, the texture will be lousy after thawing it back out.
If you want to change the flavor, try some of these variations:
- Add maraschino cherries. I mentioned this already, but I love adding maraschino cherries to this recipe. They give it a sweeter, fruitier, and even more pina colada-like flavor. You can also add other fruits, like Mandarin oranges, banana slices, and more.
- Make it richer. Traditionally, pineapple fluff is pretty light. It’s sweet and delicious but not overly rich. If you want a richer dessert, mix in a block of softened cream cheese.
- Add pretzels. Want that nice crunch but aren’t a fan of nuts? Try adding broken pretzel pieces into the fluff instead. Just remember, they’ll soften faster than nuts and won’t be too crunchy after the first day.
- Vary the pudding. Pistachio and vanilla puddings are great options for this recipe. However, you can also try it with white chocolate, cheesecake, or another variety.
- Make it zesty. Add a little lime zest and juice for a brighter, more citrusy flavor.
- Use coconut extract instead of shredded coconut. Some people don’t like the texture of shredded coconut. So, keep the coconut flavor without the texture by adding coconut extract instead. (You can also add rum extract for a boozier taste.)
- Use it in larger recipes. Add the fluff to a pie crust for a fluff pie. Or use it to top off a frozen daiquiri or pina colada.
- Make serving fluff FUN. Serve the dessert in hollowed-out pineapple halves for a fun, prettier presentation.
- Turn it into a dip. For a sweet dessert dip, serve with graham crackers, Nilla wafers, Teddy Grahams, etc.
How to Store
Pineapple fluff, like all fluff desserts, tastes best when served cold. That makes storing it a complete breeze. Simply recover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator.
The leftovers should last for up to 2 days.
However, keep in mind that fluff desserts are best when fresh. The longer the fluff sits in the fridge, the runnier and less fluffy it will become. (The Cool Whip eventually breaks down.)
It’ll still taste good after 2 days, but the texture will be pretty bad.
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