Frog Eye Salad Recipe

frog eye salad - fruit salad

The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Chill Time: 30 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 10 servings
Yield: 10 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
352 Calories
15g Fat
54g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10
Amount per serving
Calories 352
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 10g 48%
Cholesterol 59mg 20%
Sodium 142mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 54g 20%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 45g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 34mg 169%
Calcium 76mg 6%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 344mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Frog eye salad is a unique fruit salad that originated in Utah. The salad has long been a regional favorite, and thanks to the Internet, it is quickly gaining popularity. It's an excellent fruit salad to make for a Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter dinner, or take it along to a potluck. It also makes a fabulous dessert.

The whimsical name comes from the hundreds of round, bead-like acini di pepe pasta, which look a little like frog's eyes. Pineapple, coconut, mandarin orange sections, and miniature marshmallows are common ingredients in frog eye salad. The salad comes together with a simple pineapple custard and freshly whipped cream. For a pop of color, garnish each serving with a cherry and a few mint leaves or a sprinkle of toasted coconut. Or save a few of the mandarin orange slices or pineapple chunks for garnish.

The frog eye salad goes particularly well with baked ham or a pork roast dinner, but it is also delicious along with roast turkey or chicken meal. If you usually make a basic whipped cream fruit salad or cranberry salad for your holiday feast, you should try this delicious frog eye salad!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

  • 1 large egg

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt

  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

  • 1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple

  • 1 (20-ounce) can pineapple chunks

  • 1 cup acini di pepe pasta

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream

  • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans mandarin orange segments, well drained

  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut

  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows

Optional Toppings

  • 10 maraschino cherries

  • 1/4 cup coconut, toasted

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Place a mesh strainer over a medium bowl and drain the pineapple chunks and crushed pineapple. Squeeze or press to remove as much moisture as possible Transfer the drained pineapple solids to a large bowl. Set the bowls of pineapple and pineapple juice aside.

  3. Combine the granulated sugar and flour in a medium saucepan; whisk until well combined. Whisk in 1 cup of the reserved pineapple juice, the egg, and salt. Place the pan over medium heat and cook until thickened, whisking constantly, about 4 to 6 minutes. The mixture should coat the back of a spoon.

  4. Place a mesh strainer over a large bowl, then pour the custard through it; stir in the lemon juice. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the custard for about 30 minutes or until chilled.

  5. While the custard is chilling, cook the pasta. Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook as directed on the package or until tender, about 6 to 10 minutes, depending on the brand.

    Do a taste test to ensure it is tender, not al dente. Pour the pasta into a colander and run cold water over it to cool completely. Set the pasta aside to drain thoroughly.

  6. To prepare the whipped cream, beat the heavy cream in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until frothy. Gradually beat in the confectioners' sugar until stiff peaks form. You will have about 4 cups of whipped cream. Reserve 1 cup of whipped cream for the topping and refrigerate it until ready to serve.

  7. Remove the chilled, set custard from the refrigerator, then add the cold drained pasta; stir to coat.

  8. Add the well-drained pineapple, mandarin orange sections, coconut, and miniature marshmallows. Stir gently to combine, then fold in the whipped cream. Transfer the frog eye salad to a serving bowl.

  9. Serve frog eye salad on the side with a meal or in dessert bowls or cups with reserved whipped cream, maraschino cherries, and toasted coconut. 

Tips

Confectioners' sugar contains some cornstarch, which adds some stability to the whipped cream. Or make stabilized whipped cream with the addition of gelatin.


Recipe Variations

  • If you can't find acini di pepe, pastina (tiny stars) is a good substitute.
  • Use an 8-ounce tub of light frozen whipped topping (3 cups) instead of sweetened whipped cream to lighten the salad a bit.
  • Add 1 thinly sliced banana to the salad when adding the pineapple and orange sections.
  • Add 1/2 cup of fresh raspberries or sliced fresh strawberries to the salad.



How to Store

  • Refrigerate leftover frog eye salad in a covered container and eat within 3 days.
  • Give the leftover frog eye salad a quick stir if it weeps a bit in the fridge.