Frog Eye Salad is a creamy and fluffy pineapple, orange, and coconut pasta salad served as a side dish or dessert! This recipe serves a crowd, so it’s great for BBQs and potlucks!

This recipe costs $9.58 to make or just $0.80 per serving. It makes a large batch and serves 12.

For more vintage dessert salad recipes, try my Pistachio Salad (Watergate Salad) and my Cranberry Fluff Salad.

Frog Eye Salad in a trifle bowl.

Deliciously fluffy recipe for Frogeye Salad

I had frog eye salad for the first time at a luncheon before my sister’s wedding in Utah. I’m not going to lie. I was a little hesitant to try it because of its name. Lucky for me, I put a little on my plate to try, and ever since, I’ve been hooked! 

Frog eye salad is made with acini di pepe pasta which is little balls of pasta. This is where the salad gets its name.

The pasta is mixed with homemade pineapple custard, whipped cream, pineapple, mandarin oranges, marshmallows, and coconut. 

This creamy salad is sweet and full of fruity flavor. It is a classic recipe that is a total crowd-pleaser. Making the homemade whipping cream instead of store-bought makes this salad extra fluffy.

An overhead picture of Frog Eye Salad in a trifle bowl.

Frog Eye Salad Recipe ingredients and cost

Per Serving Cost: $0.80

Recipe Cost: $9.58

  • 16 ounces acini di pepe pasta $1.48
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar $0.22
  • 2 Tablespoons flour $0.04
  • 1 large egg, beaten $0.10
  • 1 large egg yolk $0.05
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt $0.01
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice $0.02
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream $1.94
  • 1 cup marshmallow creme $0.66
  • 20 oz can pineapple tidbits $1.48
  • 20 oz can crushed pineapple $1.48
  • 15 oz can Mandarin oranges $1.25
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows $0.44
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut $0.41

NOTE: The recipe prices are calculated by using grocery store websites. The actual cost of the recipe will vary depending on what ingredients you already have.

All of the ingredients needed to make this recipe.

How to make Frog Eye Salad

  1. First, cook pasta and place it in large Tupperware to cool.
  2. Next, make the pineapple custard and let it cool.
  3. Then, add the custard to the pasta and mix. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  4. Next, make the fluff.
  5. Fold in the fluff, drained fruit, marshmallows, and coconut to the pasta and custard.
  6. Finally, garnish with desired toppings and serve.

***For complete instructions, see the recipe video in the recipe card below!

A picture collage of how to make Frog Eye Salad.

Frog Eye Salad variations

  • You can use a container of Cool Whip instead of whipping up fresh whipped cream.
  • If you’re short on time, skip making the pineapple custard from scratch and use a box of instant vanilla pudding and 1 1/2 cup of pineapple juice instead.
  • During Thanksgiving and Christmas I like to dress this recipe up with some drained maraschino cherries.

How to store Frogeye Salad

SERVE: You can keep this recipe out for about 2 hours before it needs to be refrigerated.

STORE: Cover and keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

FREEZE: Unfortunately, this recipe does not freeze well so please don’t freeze it!

Cook’s tools for this Frog Eye Salad Recipe

  • Large pot
  • Colander
  • Medium Saucepan
  • Whisk
  • Mixing bowl
  • Wooden mixing spoon
  • Stand mixer or handheld mixer
  • Rubber scraper
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Liquid measuring cup
An overhead, close up picture of the finished Frog Eye Salad recipe.

Frog Eye Salad Recipe FAQs

Why do they call it Frog Eye Salad?

The Acini di Pepe pasta in the salad, which is small and round, literally looks like frog’s eyes when mixed in with the other ingredients. So the name of the salad is a funny play on how the salad looks.

What is frog eye salad made of?

Frog eye salad is a delicious mixture of pasta, pineapple, coconut, marshmallows, creamy custard, and whipped cream. You can then garnish it with toppings such as cherries, mandarin oranges, and whipped cream. 

What is a substitute for acini di pepe pasta?

You can try substituting orzo for Acini di Pepe pasta. Orzo is a small rice-sized pasta, so it’s similar. I have not personally used it as a substitute in this recipe, but I have read online from others who have had success. Let me know if you try it!

What to serve with Frog Eye Salad: 

More Easy Side Dishes:

More from Food Folks and Fun

A close up picture of the finished frog eye salad.
4.89 from 17 votes

Frog Eye Salad

Recipe Cost $ $9.58
Serving Cost $ $0.80
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
12 people
Frog Eye Salad is a creamy and fluffy pineapple, orange, and coconut pasta salad that can be served as a side dish or dessert! It’s great for BBQs and potlucks because this recipe will serve a crowd!

Equipment

  • large pot
  • Collander
  • medium saucepan
  • wooden spoon
  • whisk
  • stand mixer or handheld mixer
  • Large serving bowl

Ingredients
 
 

  • 16 ounces acini di pepe pasta

PINEAPPLE CUSTARD:

  • 2 ½ cups pineapple juice use the drained juice from the pineapple chunks and crushed pineapple
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 1 large egg yolk beaten
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

FRUIT AND FLUFF:

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup marshmallow creme
  • 20 ounce can pineapple tidbits drained (juice is used earlier in recipe)
  • 20 ounce can crushed pineapple drained (juice used earlier in recipe)
  • 15 ounce can mandarin oranges drained
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut

GARNISHES (all optional):

  • Additional whipped cream
  • Additional mandarin slices
  • Maraschino cherries

Instructions

COOK AND COOL PASTA:

  • Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water for 10 minutes. Then drain pasta rinse under cold water. Place pasta in a large Tupperware to cool.

MAKE AND COOL PINEAPPLE CUSTARD:

  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat whisk together pineapple juice, sugar, flour, egg, egg yolk, and salt.
  • Bring the mixture to a low boil while whisking every minute. Continue to cook until it has thickened, about another 1-2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, stir in the lemon juice, and allow it to cool.
  • Once the pasta and custard have cooled, add the custard to the pasta and stir to combine. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, but overnight is better.

ADD IN FRUIT AND FLUFF:

  • Beat heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Add marshmallow creme and beat on medium speed until incorporated about 30 seconds.
  • Transfer pasta mixture to a large serving bowl. Fold in whipped cream mixture, drained fruit, marshmallows, and coconut.

GARNISH AND SERVE:

  • Garnish with piped whipped cream, mandarin slices, and maraschino cherries (all optional). Serve or chill until ready to serve.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 0.75cup | Calories: 509kcal | Carbohydrates: 77g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 83mg | Potassium: 243mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 41g | Vitamin A: 1138IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 2mg

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The finished Frog Eye Salad recipe with text overlay for Pinterest.

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Recipe Rating




24 Comments

  1. Erica Schwarz says:

    My kids loved this! And the name is so fun. Easy to make and super tasty.

    1. Love this recipe. I’ve made it several times substituting chia seeds for the pasta. It adds a nutty flavor and it’s super delicious… and just a little better for you?? 🙂

  2. Such a fun summer side dish! My kids couldn’t stop laughing at the name of it.

  3. Not sure anyone else in my family would like this but I don’t care! I make food for everyone else and this will be for ME!

    1. Haha, I totally get that. It must be done every once and a while. Enjoy. 🙂

  4. Antoinette M says:

    I will certainly try this recipe. Sounds delicious!

  5. Cheryl Markle-Bomar says:

    I love this!!

  6. I make a tapioca salad close to this. Will have to try to add this spin to it with the coconut and marshmallows. Not sure what my family would think of the pasta even though I think it sounds good. Thanks for the idea

  7. Cheryl Markle-Bomar says:

    My grand kids loved this!!

  8. Cheryl Markle-Bomar says:

    This looks wonderful and yummy!!

  9. Oh wow! This looks and sounds so delicious! Can’t wait to make this for our BBQ weekend soon! Everyone is going to love this recipe. Can’t wait to give this a try!

  10. I hadn’t heard of frog eye salad before I came across your recipe but I’m so glad we tried this!! It was unbelievably delicious and was the perfect dessert!

  11. Healing Tomato says:

    I have always seen frog eye salads but never thought of making it at home. This frog eye salad looks very easy to make and so perfect for summer picnics.

  12. Sara Welch says:

    This was such a light and sweet salad; doesn’t get any better than this! Easily, a new favorite dish!

  13. This salad looks delicious, and I love the name! So fun and cute too.

  14. My fav as a kid but now I cant have it do to the pineapple.

  15. Claudia Quiles says:

    Great Halloween desert. I found this recepie over 40 years ago, served it to my troop of cub scouts. They like the name , but were hesitant to eat it, I had to tempt them to try it, they gave in and were surprised at how good it was. I had to confess, they were eating pasta not real frog eyes.

    1. Haha, so cute. I can see cub scouts loving this recipe! 🙂

  16. Looks like something I would love to make. I do have a questions. What size Cool Whip and what size vanilla pudding.

  17. I tried this at a picnic and loved it. I would like to make this for a picnic this weekend. Does this use 2 cups of dry pasta ?