Home > Salads > Frog Eye Salad Frog Eye Salad October 15, 2018 | 30 Comments SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Jump to Recipe This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy. Frog Eye Salad is a retro side or dessert “salad” with canned fruits, acini de pepe pasta, and whipped topping–and a silly name! This salad is a holiday classic that pairs perfectly with other side dishes like Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Vegetables, Brussels Sprouts, and/or a Sweet Potato Casserole! Frog Eye Salad As a born and raised Utahn, I’m no stranger to Frog Eye Salad. In fact, this salad was a staple in my home growing up! My aunt or mom made it (or this Watergate Salad) for every family potluck meal or holiday dinner. And this brings us to the question everyone is eager to know… Why do they call it a Frog Eye Salad? While there isn’t necessarily a documented original story (that I know of), Frog Eye Salad is named after the acini de pepe pasta — it looks like tiny little frog eyes in this salad. Despite the (slightly) creepy name, this salad is truly a unique pasta salad. It’s a sweet salad that can easily pass as a dessert, but in Utah, we like to call it a side salad to save room for 7 Layer Bars, Carmelitas, and Lemon Bars. 🙂 What’s in Frog Eye Salad? It’s a type of pasta salad made with acini de pepe pasta, canned fruits (such as pineapple and mandarin oranges), an egg custard, and whipped topping. Often it’s topped with marshmallows and/or coconut. How do you make acini di pepe pasta? Bring water to a boil. When the liquid reaches a boil, add the acini de pepe, lower the heat and start timing: For salads: cook 6 minutes To get the pasta al dente (tender to the bite) in soups: cook 6 minutes And for a tender/more soft pasta in soups/salads: cook 8 minutes QUICK TIP What is accini de pepe? It’s a tiny type of pasta–the name actually means “grape seeds,” and that describes the shape. Accini de peppe is also sometimes referred to as pastina (Italian for “tiny dough”); however, some pasta makers distinguish pastina as smaller than acini di pepe. Acini di pepe is about the size of couscous or slightly smaller than peppercorns. However, the preparation of the pasta for this salad is nothing to be intimidated by — it’s just like cooking other pastas! What is a good substitute for the pasta? If you can’t find this specific pasta, pastina (mini star-shaped) pasta works great in its place for this frog eye salad! How do you make Frog Eye Salad? Prepare the pasta, drain, and chill. Make the custard: Whisk pineapple juice and egg together, add a thickened flour paste, mix in sugar and salt. Stir until thickened. Chill: Combine the custard and pasta; chill for 30 minutes. Finish the salad: Add in the well-drained fruit and whipped topping. Mix and chill again. Serve: Add marshmallows or coconut as desired and enjoy! Can you make this Frog Eye Salad healthier? This is not necessarily a healthy salad, but here are a few ideas to make it a better-for-you choice: Make sure the canned fruit is canned in JUICE not syrup. Use a whipped topping alternative like Truwhip® OR whip your own cream (higher calories, but fewer chemicals), or for simply fewer calories use a “lite” whipped topping. Try coconut sugar in place of white sugar — it gives this salad a more coconut-y flavor. Main Dishes that pair well with this salad: Crock Pot Roast Shepherd’s Pie Crock Pot Sloppy Joes Spaghetti Bolognese Beef Ragu FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content. Frog Eye Salad 4 from 4 votes - Review this recipe Frog Eye Salad is a retro side or dessert “salad” with canned fruits, acini de pepe pasta, and whipped topping--plus a silly name! SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Frog Eye Salad 4 from 4 votes - Review this recipe SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Frog Eye Salad is a retro side or dessert “salad” with canned fruits, acini de pepe pasta, and whipped topping--plus a silly name! Course Side Dish Cuisine American Keyword frog eye salad, frog eye salad recipe Prep Time 20 minutes Cook Time 10 minutes Chilling Time 1 hour Total Time 30 minutes Servings 10 as a side Calories 272kcal Author Chelsea Ingredients1 cup acini di pepe pasta or pastina pasta1 can (20 ounces) pineapple tidbits in JUICE (not syrup) drained but RESERVE THE JUICE1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple in JUICE, drained but RESERVE THE JUICE1 large egg1 tablespoon white flour1/2 teaspoon salt1/2 cup white sugar1/2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice2 cans (15 ounces EACH) mandarin oranges in JUICE1 container (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping completely thawed (Note 1)Optional: 1/3 cup miniature colored marshmallows, 1/2 cup shredded coconut InstructionsPrepare the pasta according to package directions to cook it al dente. Drain and rinse the pasta in very cold water. Place in a large bowl in the fridge.Drain the pineapple tidbits to get 1 cup pineapple juice. Use more juice from the crushed pineapple if needed.Remove 1 tablespoon of the pineapple juice and pour in a small bowl. Pour the remaining pineapple juice into a medium-sized pot and set over medium heat. Briskly whisk in the egg. Add the flour to the reserved tablespoon of pineapple juice and whisk with a fork until smooth like a paste -- add to the egg and pineapple juice mixture, whisking constantly. Add in the salt and white sugar. Cook over medium heat until the mixture has thickened, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, stir in the lemon juice, and allow to cool in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Pour over the pasta and return the bowl to the fridge until both the pasta and the pineapple juice mixture are completely chilled.Meanwhile, open the cans and drain the mandarin oranges, the crushed pineapple, and pineapple tidbits. Make sure all the canned fruits are VERY well drained or your salad will be watery.Add the drained fruit into the cooled pasta mixture and gently stir together.Gently fold in the thawed whipped topping until all the ingredients are well combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to overnight.If desired, stir in colored miniature marshmallows and shredded coconut right before serving. Recipe NotesNote 1: Whipped topping: To make your own whipped topping: pour 1 and 1/2 cups cold heavy whipping cream in a large bowl and using a hand mixer, beat until stiff peaks form. You should have about 3 cups when it's done; use this in place of one container of whipped topping. Nutrition information does not include the optional coconut or marshmallows. Nutrition FactsCalories: 272kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 142mg | Potassium: 313mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 41g | Vitamin A: 676IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 1mg We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed. DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.