Frog Eye Salad

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This Frog Eye Salad is my take on a childhood classic pasta salad! Acini di pepe pasta is coated in a creamy fruit sauce, then tossed with fruit and marshmallows for ultimate flavor. Serve this at any gathering and you’re sure to be a crowd-pleaser!

Frog Eye Salad in two small bowls

Why I Love Frog Eye Salad

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!

Key Ingredients

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 cream, 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, then top the dish with whipped topping. Talk about delicious!

Frog Eye Salad in a bowl with mandarin slices on top

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 and 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!

a scoop of frog eye salad on a spoon


Is frog eye salad the same as watergate salad?

These two salads are not the same! They’re a similar concept, but they use different ingredients. 

Is acini di pepe the same as orzo?

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.

Can I substitute other fruits in this recipe?

This is the recipe I grew up with and therefore it’s the one I recommend. However, if you’d like to play around with different combinations of fruits for your Frog Eye Salad, I support you!

Do I really need to let this sit overnight?

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? 

Additional Fruit Based Recipes

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
Course: Salad
Servings: 12 -14
Author: Countryside Cravings
  • 1 cup acini di pepe pasta
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 15 1/2 oz can crushed pineapple
  • 2 11 oz cans mandarin oranges
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows
  • 1 8 oz container whipped topping, thawed
  1. Boil water and acini di pepe until almost all of the water is absorbed. Be sure to stir frequently to prevent sticking.
  2. Drain and reserve the liquid from the pineapple (use the back of a spoon to push out the liquid) and mandarin oranges. 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.
  3. 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.
Recipe Notes

**This recipe requires overnight preperation before serving**

3 thoughts on “Frog Eye Salad”

    • Hi! So sorry I didn’t get back with you sooner! You can find acini di pepe pasta in the pasta aisle. It is in a small box or bag and the pasta itself is very small. You can click here for a picture.


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