Frog Eye Salad (Acini de Pepe Salad)

10 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Frog Eye Salad (Acini de Pepe Salad) is a fluffy, sweet dessert pasta made with pineapple, cool whip, mandarin oranges and marshmallows.

We love using real homemade ingredients in our desserts, and especially the toppings like this Easy Whipped Cream, Homemade Cool Whip, and Chocolate Ganache!


Frog Eye Salad (Acini de Pepe Salad) is the perfect fruity salad to bring to a potluck, made from Acini de Pepe pasta which is similar in texture to tapioca once it’s in this salad. This is also a lot like a fruit salad or ambrosia salad, but with pasta and a creamy custard topping mixed in. I like to throw this together for get-togethers or holidays because it’s always a hit!


Frog Eye Salad should be covered in an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. Stir before serving.

If it separates or water forms on the top mix it well together again.


  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans)
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Coconut flakes


Freeze frog eye salad for 2-3 months, but keep in mind that this is dairy-based so the texture might be less creamy and you might find that it’s separating slightly. It is best to serve this salad fresh.

Frog Eye Salad with Cool Whip



  • Add other fruits to your frog eye salad, like banana, coconut, or strawberries.
  • Any tiny pasta will work well in this fruit salad, if you can’t find the acini including tiny alphabet pasta or even couscous.
  • In a large bowl, mix custard together with spices to add flavor, like cinnamon or nutmeg.
  • Frog Eye salad may develop some water on the top when in the refrigerator, just mix the salad back together before serving.
  • You can use fresh or crushed pineapple for this recipe. If you’re using fresh, pulse it in the food processor a few times to get the texture of the store-bought version. Personally, I prefer the pineapple packed in water or pineapple juice, as the syrup ends up with too much sweetness.
  • This recipe is best served chilled, so I recommend not skipping the refrigeration step in the recipe.
  • Make this recipe using my homemade cool whip, or if you’re going to serve it right away my easy whipped cream! If you’re really motivated, you can try using my homemade marshmallows.
  • Thicken your frog eye salad with a small amount of cream cheese, or extra cool whip, although the pasta should do a good job of thickening this salad.
  • If you don’t have mandarin oranges, you can substitute with cut up pieces of regular orange. But try to get mandarin oranges if you can find them, as they add a unique flavor to the dish.

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Frog Eye Salad (Acini de Pepe Salad)

Frog Eye Salad (Acini de Pepe Salad) is a sweet and fluffy dessert salad made from eggs, pineapple, cool whip, and marshmallows, perfect for the holidays or a potluck!
Yield 10 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 3/4 cups unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 pound acini di pepe pasta
  • 2 cups canned mandarin oranges drained well
  • 20 ounces crushed pineapple drained well
  • 8 ounces cool whip
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows


  • In a large pot whisk together the sugar, flour, salt, pineapple juice and eggs on medium heat until thickened then turn off the heat and whisk in the lemon juice.
  • Cook the acini de pepe pasta one minute shy of the directions then drain and rinse well before adding to the pineapple egg mixture and mixing it together.
  • Refrigerate the pasta mixture until fully chilled and just before serving mix with the oranges, pineapple, cool whip and marshmallows.


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.


Calories: 375kcal | Carbohydrates: 82g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 501mg | Potassium: 212mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 43g | Vitamin A: 610IU | Vitamin C: 22.9mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 2.1mg

Creamy Frog Eye Salad with Mandarin Oranges and Pineapple and Marshmallows

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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    1. So glad you enjoyed Frog Eye Salad. I love that it reminded you of Grandma’s and thanks for the 5 star rating 🙂

  1. Does recipe require one pound of pasta? Other recipes I have seen say one cup.
    My pineapple can is 20 ounces.
    Louise Anderson

  2. I apologize in advance if I missed this somewhere, but can this be made a day in advance? Thanks so much!

    1. Does this recipe need one pound of the pasta? Others I have looked at call for one cup. My pineapple can is 20 ounces.
      Louise Anderson

  3. Have you ever put green food coloring in this to make it more festive for kids on Halloween? How much would you use? When would you add it?

    1. I haven’t ever tried this. I would add the food coloring once the sauce is cooked and just add in little by little, whisking until it give you the color you desire. I’d love to know how it turns out.

  4. what can I use instead for pineapple. Love it but it dont love me. Mom made is for years till a bee sting kit and a trip to the ER, My grandson’s baptism is this weekend and my Daughter asked me to make this, Grandson thinks I’m going to find frog eyes. LMDO Love that boy

    1. Oh no!! There are other fruit type salads on the site without pineapple or that would be easier to substitute the pineapple with but I’ve never tried to substitute the pineapple in this with anything else.

      1. I have sliced grapes to use in the frog eye salad as a substitute for the pineapple. I added them at the very last . I used the red or dark purple and it really gave the salad color.

  5. Looks so delish! Those combinations of flavors are amazing that makes this simply irresistible, just perfect for the holidays!

  6. Wow! This is a long-lost favorite salad!! I showed this to my husband, and he said this was one of his favorite party salads, but neither one of us has seen this in so many years! Thank you for posting this!

  7. This was so easy to make and everyone loved it! We will be making it again for both Thanksgiving and Christmas this year!

  8. Yummy!! I have never heard of this before and can’t wait to try it. I LOVE your site and have made many of your recipes. I always search your recipes first when looking for something new to try. Thanks so much. (Love the Cheddar popcorn!)

    1. I haven’t made it in a few years, because I haven’t been able to find any Acini de pepe..
      Does anyone know where I can find it?