Everyone always loves this creamy, fluffy Frog Eye Salad made with acini de pepe, pineapple, coconut, mandarin oranges, marshmallows, and bananas.

Overhead photo of a bowl of frog eye salad made with acini de pepe, bananas, pineapple, and mandarin oranges.

I’m sure many of you know this salad as the one that your grandmother brought to family parties. It’s super old school, but some of those old school recipes will always be classics, am I right?!

But, can we all agree that “Frog Eye Salad” is the worst name ever? It totally makes me laugh. The last thing I want to be thinking when I’m eating this is “ooh, those acini de pepes are just like little frog eyes!”.

I don’t know who came up with the name but it’s so weird.  Did you grow up calling this “Frog Eye” Salad or something else?  We usually called it Acini de Pepe Fruit Salad.

Trifle cups filled with acini de pepe fruit salad and topped with a maraschino cherry.

Well, whatever you called it, this bowl of fluffy, fruity goodness is the best! It’s basically dessert and not a salad at all. But who am I to put up a fight when a big bowl of dessert is served as a side dish? 🙂

The traditional version of this salad uses a container of thawed cool whip, but I use freshly whipped cream instead and it makes the biggest difference. Beating the cream takes just as much time as thawing a container of cool whip, but it tastes SOO much yummier!

How to make Frog Eye Salad:

In a saucepan, heat sugar, pineapple juice, egg yolk, salt, and cornstarch and whisk until combined.  Bring the mixture to a boil and wait for it to thicken slightly.  Remove it from heat.  Cook the acini de pepe noodles separately.

Four process photos for cooking acini de pepe noodles to make frog eye salad.

Combine the acini de pepe and the sugar mixture and refrigerate overnight or for at least two hours.  When you’re ready to serve the salad, combine the pineapple, oranges, coconut, bananas, and marshmallows.  Then add the fruit mixture to the acini de pepe noodles. Fold in the fresh whipped cream and serve!

Overhead view of a bowl with the ingredients for frog eye salad including acini de pepe, crushed pineapple, bananas, mandarin oranges, marshmallows and coconut.

How do you cook acini de pepe noodles?

Bring a pot of water to a boil.  Add the acini de pepe noodles, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for about 6 minutes or until al dente.

Close up photo of a glass mixing bowl with acini de pepe frog eye salad in it and a white spatula spoon for serving.

Consider trying these fruit salad recipes:

 

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Recipe

Close up photo of a glass mixing bowl with acini de pepe frog eye salad in it and a white spatula spoon for serving.
Prep 15 mins
Cook 10 mins
Refrigeration 2 hrs
Total 2 hrs 25 mins
Add to Meal Plan

Ingredients
  

  • 20 ounce can pineapple tidbits , drained and juice reserved
  • 10 ounce can crushed pineapple , drained and juice reserved
  • 1 cup reserved pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup acini de pepe noodles
  • 15 ounce can mandarin oranges , drained
  • 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1 banana , sliced
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

Instructions
 

  • Drain the pineapple cans and reserve the juice. Reserve the pineapple fruit in the fridge for later.
  • In a saucepan over medium heat combine the pineapple juice, sugar, egg yolk, salt and cornstarch and whisk until smooth.
  • Cook until mixtures comes to a low boil and thickens slightly. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  • Cook acini de pepe noodles according to package instructions. Drain and cool.
  • Combine the acini de pepe and the thickened sauce in a tupperware. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
  • Once the acini de pepe mixture has chilled add it to a large bowl with the pineapple, mandarin oranges, coconut, marshmallows, and bananas.
  • In a separate bowl beat the cream and sugar together until stiff peaks. Fold fresh whipped cream into the acini de pepe mixture. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Nutrition

Calories: 300kcalCarbohydrates: 47gProtein: 2gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 76mgPotassium: 292mgFiber: 3gSugar: 36gVitamin A: 715IUVitamin C: 22.9mgCalcium: 51mgIron: 0.8mg

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. It drives me nuts when people call ANY pasta “noodles”. Call it acini de pepe pasta.
    Noodles are flat strips of pasta.
    That said, the recipe is fine and we call it Frog Eye Salad.

  2. In Kansas we DO NOT PUT coconut, bananas or marshmallows in Frog Eye! Our family loves it!!! We always have this at Thanksgiving & Christmas. Leftovers are better with frog eye.

    1. I don’t put coconut or bananas in mine either. I think bananas would turn it brown and would not stay fresh as long.

      1. I cut the bananas in the pineapple or mandarin orange juice then drain the bananas, the bananas don’t turn brown for 3 or 4 days

  3. 5 stars
    Love this salad my good friend made it and I just had to have this recipe 🐸👀🥗💛💖💙❤️💜

  4. 5 stars
    Wonderful, wonderful recipe! We made it with colorful marshmallows and it was an instant hit with my four teenagers.

  5. Great Recipe! I added diced peaches & maraschino cherries to mine in addition to all the other yummy fruit.
    This is always a hit at any gathering!!

  6. When I tell People its Frog eyes They don’t want to eat it But they love it when they finally taste it. A very refreshing Summer dessert/

  7. 5 stars
    I made this and it was simple to make and tasted delicious!!! I will definitely be making this again and again.

    Thank you!

  8. 5 stars
    I had this salad at a reception. I ask the lady who made it what was this delightful food. She told me it was Frog Eye Salad. I looked back at my dish and it did sort of look like frog eyes. I am a biologist so it was ok with me that it really did look like frog eyes. I looked it up and can’t wait to fix it.

  9. 5 stars
    Delicious! I worked at a restaurant making salads and side dishes in high school, and we added strawberries to our frog eye salad. I’ve also added fresh mango. Everyone loved it!

  10. 5 stars
    My Mom made this for every pot luck for several decades. I took it for granted and now that she has passed i miss her so and my heart aches for some of her Frog Eye Salad! And this recipe will be so close and Thank you tp ypi all who make this possible! Love to you all

  11. 5 stars
    I have made a close version of this for twenty years and still love it today. I don’t use coconut and bananas because it is very sweet without them. I use a large container of whipped cream instead of making it from scratch. Thank you for sharing this with others.

  12. Where can you purchase the acini de pepe noodles? I’ve gone to two of my favorite grocery stores and couldn’t find them.

    1. That’s strange–my local grocery stores carry them….even Walmart. You could always buy them online…Amazon for example. Good luck!

      1. when I first moved to Pacific Northwest, no one had heard of this and stores did not carry the pasta. Just had to make special requests a few times, now they carry it all the time.

    2. I had to visit three different grocery stores before finding them. I used the Instacart app to see who had them before I took to another store. Good luck ?

    3. they aren’t noodles. it is macaroni Smith’s, Kroeger, Safeway, Albertsons, Price chopper, Walmart, Target all carry this macaroni

  13. 5 stars
    My granddaughter loves frogs and turtles and bugs so when you posted this recipe I thought I would make it because of the name. I had no idea it would be such a hit! Everyone loved it and loved the name and now it will be a staple at our celebrations. Thank you so much for making our Thanksgiving extra special this year. We’re still talking about Frog Eye Salad. ?❤️?

  14. 5 stars
    I remember my grandmother making this when I was younger. Your recipe is delish and I will definitely be making this again!

  15. 5 stars
    This was so easy to make and everyone loved it! We will be making it again for both Thanksgiving and Christmas this year!

  16. 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!

  17. My grandma used to make this! I haven’t had it since she passed away! I’m gonna have to make it soon!!

  18. I loved my grandma’s frog eye salad and this one looks just as good. Definitely going to try!

  19. Wow. I’ve never seen this before, or even heard of it! Is it a very classic American dish? Definitely not something we have in the southern hemisphere in Australia 🙂

    1. This salad is the best. Be sure and try it if you can get all the ingredients there. I have a SisterFriend in Australia and would love to give her the recipe if you have the ingredients there. I live in Florida.