This Frog Eye Salad is a classic sweet side dish, with a terrible name. It’s made with acini di pepe, pineapple, mandarin oranges, coconut and marshmallows, all tossed together in a sweet creamy custard sauce. It’s perfect for potlucks, or holiday dinners!
I know it’s silly, but I literally wouldn’t eat frog eye salad as a kid because of the name. When I went to my husband’s parents house for Thanksgiving one year they called it Acini di Pepe Salad (since it’s made with acini di pepe noodles) and that’s the first time I remember actually eating it. So how about that 😉
So let’s all agree, that frog eye salad is the worst name ever, and no one wants to be thinking about frog eyes, or pretending the noodles are like frog eyes – so if you want to join me and call it acini di pepe salad, please do 😉
Regardless of the name though, this fruity, salad is delicious! It’s practically a dessert, because it’s got tiny pasta balls, fruit, and even mini marshmallows, all coated in a sweet, creamy dressing.
It’s such a great side dish, and it’s perfect for serving up at a holiday dinner (think Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, etc.) or a spring or summer bbq or potluck! It’s definitely not a new recipe, and most of you probably tried it before you were in your 20s, unlike me – but it’s a classic, and it’s one we have to share here.
What is Frog Eye Salad?
Frog eye salad is a sweet fruit and pasta salad, made with small acini di pepe pasta, and fruit, coated in a sweet homemade custard and whipped cream sauce.
This salad is regionally popular in Utah and Idaho.
How to make Frog Eye Salad?
Cook the acini di pepe pasta is a pot of boiling water according to the package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside till you need it.
In a medium sized pot, add the pineapple juice, sugar, egg, flour, lemon juice, and salt. Whisk them together until combined. Heat the pot over medium heat until the mixture starts to bubble, and is slightly thickened. Remove from the heat, and pour into another bowl and cool.
Pour the pineapple custard over the pasta and stir it together to coat evenly. Place the mixture into the fridge for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
Add the crushed pineapple, pineapple chunks, mandarin oranges, and marshmallows, and fold it all together carefully.
Whip the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until stiff peaks are formed. Add the whipped cream to the pasta and fruit, and carefully fold them together. Serve immediately, or place it in the fridge to chill longer.
Tips for making Frog Eye Salad?
- Instead of making homemade whipped cream you can use an 8oz container of Cool Whip.
- You can add sweetened shredded coconut to the salad if desired. Add about 1/2 cup.
- If you can’t find acini di pepe pasta you can try substituting couscous.
How to store Frog Eye Salad?
Store it in a container with a lid, or wrapped in plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
This frog eye salad, or acini di pepe salad is such a fun, and delicious side dish. It’s sweet, and fruity, and everyone will love it! (Just maybe don’t call it frog eye salad if you’re worried ;))
Looking for more fruit salad recipes?
- Ambrosia Salad
- Rainbow Fruit Salad
- Strawberry Pretzel Jello Salad
- Strawberry Fluff
- Rainbow Fruit Parfait
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Frog Eye Salad
- 1 cup Acini di Pepe Pasta
For the Pineapple Custard Sauce:
- 2/3 cup pineapple juice (you can use the pineapple from the cans of fruit, just drain and reserve the juice, and put the cans in the fridge for later)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 TBS flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
For the Salad:
- 20 oz crushed pineapple (drained)
- 20 oz pineapple chunks (drained)
- 29 oz mandarin oranges (drained)
- 16 oz maraschino cherries (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows (optional)
For the Whipped Cream:
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Bring a medium sized pot to boil, and boil the Acini de Pepe pasta according to the package directions. Drain the water out, and let the pasta cool.
- In a medium size pot add pineapple juice, sugar, egg, flour, salt, and lemon juice, and whisk them together. Bring to a low boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook until the mixture thickens slightly.
- Scoop the mixture into another bowl, and place it in the fridge for 20-30 minutes to cool slightly.
- Pour the pineapple sauce over the pasta in a large bowl and let it cool at least 2 hours, or over night in the refrigerator.
- Add the pineapple, mandarin oranges, cherries, and marshmallows to the bowl. And carefully fold them together.
For the Whipped Cream:
- Add the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract and whisk together in a large bowl over high speed, until heavy peaks are formed.
- Add the whipped cream to the salad, and fold it carefully into the salad.
- Serve immediately, or refrigerate for a few hours and serve.
When describing how to make the salad you list using cornstarch for the custard. However, you have flour in the list of ingredients used. Has your recipe been updated for taste? Are the two ingredients interchangeable?
Oops! It’s should be flour as listed in the recipe card. I updated the post too. I think cornstarch would be okay to use if that’s all you have as well
This is my favorite recipe for ancini di pepe / frog eye salad! I have to double it every time (except for the fruit). This recipe is VERY easy! Don’t let the steps deter you! Because of my Italian heritage, my husband teases me and says I have to have pasta for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert! And I do with this recipe for ancini di pepe!