This Frog Eye Salad is fluffy, creamy, and sweet. This retro treat is made with whipped topping, canned fruit, and a simple homemade vanilla pudding. Plus, it yields a large batch, making it perfect for holidays and gatherings.
You either hear “Frog Eye Salad” and remember it fondly, or you’re like my husband and you react with disgust. I get it, it’s a weird name, but it’s not really frog eyes and it’s delicious!
Frog Eye Salad is a creamy pudding-like pasta salad studded with fruit and marshmallows. No frog eyes are involved – it’s the acini di pepe pasta that gives the salad its name.
This yummy fruit salad was a common staple at church potlucks and summer BBQs, and I have insisted on carrying on the tradition. Birthday parties, holiday gatherings, what have you – I’ll make sure Frog Eye Salad is represented.
This recipe makes a large batch, so keep it in your back pocket for a crowd-pleasing dish!
Why I Love Frog Eye Salad
- Uses simple and easy-to-find ingredients
- Makes a large batch so it’s perfect for taking to any gathering
- No premade pudding mix but an easy-to-make and tasty homemade vanilla pudding
- It is light and fluffy with a slightly chewy texture from the pasta
- Both kids and adults adore this retro classic side/dessert
Key Ingredients For This Acini di Pepe Pasta Salad
The base of this salad is the cream-coated pasta, but not just any pasta! This recipe calls for acini di pepe pasta which is super tiny ball-like bits that give the salad its frog eye name.
Then for the vanilla pudding, you’ll need water, pineapple and mandarin orange juice, eggs, sugar, and flour.
Finally, you’ll mix in the pineapple and mandarin orange pieces along with mini marshmallows.
Instructions to Make Frog Eye Salad
STEP 1: MAKE PASTA
Boil the water and add the acini di pepe. Boil until almost all of the water is absorbed, stirring frequently to prevent sticking to the pot.
STEP 2: MAKE FRUIT SAUCE
Drain and reserve the juice from the pineapple (use the back of a spoon to push out the liquid) and mandarin oranges. Place the fruit in a small bowl, and then cover and refrigerate. In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the reserved juice, eggs, sugar, and flour. Combine and cook over medium to low heat until it’s thickened.
STEP 3: COMBINE PASTA WITH OTHER INGREDIENTS
In a large bowl, combine the pasta with the cooked juice and egg mixture. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight. When you’re ready to serve your Frog Eye salad, combine the fruit with the pasta mixture, and then add in the marshmallows and whipped topping. Serve immediately and enjoy!
These two salads are not the same! They’re a similar concept, but they use different ingredients.
It’s actually smaller than orzo, more like couscous, but in many recipes the two are interchangeable. I wouldn’t recommend substituting orzo in this recipe though.
I know, I know, it’s hard to be patient when you know something so delicious is waiting for you. You’re going to have to wait overnight though. Letting it cool together allows the custard and pasta to come out perfectly, and you don’t want to miss out on that perfection, do you?
Tips And Suggestions
- STORAGE AND MAKE AHEAD: This salad is not freezer-friendly. Store any leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It will start to get a little watery the longer it sits after being combined. This salad needs to be made the day before to allow time for the pudding to set. Keep the pudding and fruit separate and covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days if you need to make it further in advance.
- When draining the fruit use a fine mesh strainer to make it easier.
- Be sure to buy fruit in fruit juice and not heavy syrup.
- Feel free to use different fruits or add coconut.
More Fruit Recipes
- Quick and Easy Marshmallow Fruit Dip
- Creamy Fruit Salad
- Cranberry Bread Pudding with Whiskey Cream Sauce
- Healthier Berry Cheesecake Parfait
- Pumpkin Dip
Thanks so much for reading about my childhood favorite! Enjoy this Frog Eye Salad and be sure to let me know what you think!
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Frog Eye Salad
- 1 cup (225g) acini di pepe pasta
- 2½ cups (590ml) water
- 1 (20 oz) (567g) can crushed pineapple, drained
- 2 (10.5 oz) (297g) cans mandarin oranges, drained
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup (210g) sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (51g) miniature marshmallows
- 1 (8oz) (226g) container whipped topping, thawed
- Boil water and acini di pepe until almost all of the water is absorbed. Be sure to stir frequently to prevent sticking.
- Drain and reserve the liquid from the pineapple and mandarin oranges (use a fine mesh strainer to drain and press out the liquid from the pineapple). Place fruit in a small bowl, cover, and refrigerate. In a medium saucepan combine the reserved juice, eggs, sugar, and flour. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until thickened.
- In a large bowl combine the pasta with the juice and egg mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve combine the fruit with the pasta mixture. Add in the marshmallows and whipped topping. Serve immediately.