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Frog Eye Salad

Frog eye salad is a delicious dessert salad that takes the classic cool whip ambrosia salad recipe and uses acini de pepe pasta to create a pudding like texture.

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Don’t let the recipe name fool you, frog eye salad is a delicious dessert salad that takes the classic cool whip ambrosia salad recipe and uses acini de pepe pasta to create a tapioca pudding like texture!

frog eye salad in a jadeite bowl

Frog Eye Salad

This old-fashioned dessert salad contained acini de pepe, pineapple, coconut, mandarin oranges, marshmallows, a homemade pineapple custard, and whipped cream topping.

The “frog eye” comes from the little acini de pepe pasta that you use, which, when cooked up, become little round jelly-like frog eyes.

close up of frog eye salad

How to Cook Acini de Pepe

Ancini de pepe is an extremely small, round pasta  – that translates to peppercorn, or seeds of pepper. It comes from the Latin word acinus, meaning grape stones. Though this tiny pasta translates to peppercorns, it is in fact much smaller than this. Acini di pepe are actually the size of a grain of couscous!

  • Get out a strainer that has tiny holes that the pasta will not slip through and set aside.
  • Bring a pot of unsalted water to a full boil, unlike most pasta you do not want the salt added to the flavor of this past!
  • Pour in the acini de pepe noodles, stirring so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of your pot, then lower the heat to a simmer.
  • Cook for 6-7 minutes or until al dente. You want the little pasta firm but without crunch in the center.
  • Remove from the heat and strain immediately, then run cold water over the pasta until cooled completely. Let drain while you prepare the rest of the salad.
frog eye salad garnished with maraschino cherries

More Dessert Salad Recipes

Nothing beats a good dessert salad, at any time of year! Here are some more recipes that are reader favorites!

This was a hit with the entire family, we loved the texture and the mandarin oranges give it a great flavor!

Let me know in the comments below if you have made it, and what you think!

Happy cooking,

Love,

Karlynn

Frog Eye Salad

Frog eye salad is a delicious dessert salad that takes the classic cool whip ambrosia salad recipe and uses acini de pepe pasta to create a pudding like texture.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time
20 minutes
Course
Dessert
Cuisine
American
Servings
12
Calories
148
Author
Karlynn Johnston

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup acini di pepe pasta

Pineapple Custard

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups pineapple juice
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Salad Ingredients

  • two 10 ounce cans mandarin oranges drained
  • one 19 ounce can pineapple tidbits in pineapple juice drained with juice reserved for custard
  • one 19 ounce can crushed pineapple in pineapple juice drained with juice reserved for custard
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • one 8 ounce container frozen whipped topping thawed
  • maraschino cherries. optional

Instructions
 

Pasta

  • Cook the pasta according to the package directions; drain and rinse in cold water until completely cooled. Place in a very large bowl and let cook while preparing the rest of the recipe.

Pineapple Custard

  • In a medium heavy saucepan, combine the white sugar, flour and salt. Gradually stir in pineapple juice.
  • Beat the egg and egg yolks together in a small measuring cup and set aside.
  • Bring to a low rolling boil, stirring constantly.
  • Temper the eggs by stirring a small amount of hot mixture into eggs until combined. Whisk the eggs into the hot pineapple mixture in the pot.
  • Bring back up to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes longer or until thickened. Remove from the heat. Gently stir in lemon juice. Place the butter on top and let it melt then stir it into the custard.
  • Transfer to a large bowl and cool to room temperature. Cover the surface of dressing with plastic wrap or waxed paper and then refrigerate until cooled.

Combining the Salad

  • Break up the pasta if needed by fuffing with a fork then add in the oranges, pineapple, marshmallows, coconut and pineapple custard.
  • Fold in the whipped topping. Cover and refrigerate until chilled through. If desired, garnish with maraschino cherries.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

  • Make sure to drain the pineapple really well, or the salad can get watery
  • Feel free to add in maraschino cherries, not only to top, but in the salad if you want the cherry flavor

Nutrition Information

Calories: 148kcal, Carbohydrates: 28g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0.04g, Cholesterol: 33mg, Sodium: 76mg, Potassium: 54mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 15g, Vitamin A: 73IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 9mg, Iron: 1mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

Learn more about me

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