This Easy Frog Eye Salad recipe is made with fresh fruit and instant pudding. It's a twist on the classic fruit salad recipe that is perfect for BBQs and potlucks.
Easy Frog Eye Salad Recipe
This Easy Frog Eye Salad recipe is a creamy pasta and fruit salad that's an absolute favorite at BBQs and summer get togethers. I gave this potluck favorite a little facelift by mixing the cooked and cooled acini de pepe with fresh fruit, instant pudding powder, whipped cream, and no egg yolks.
Frog eye fruit salad is usually made with fruit cocktail or mandarins from a can, but that can be a little mushy and unappetizing. I use fresh pineapples, grapes, and tangerines, but you can use whatever fresh fruit you like best that holds up in a creamy salad. Strawberries, bananas, mangos, or apples would all work great.
This fun fruit salad goes great with sandwiches, BBQ meat, and fried chicken. I suppose it could be considered a dessert, but you might as well pass it off as a salad and save room for even more sweet treats.
Ingredients in Frog Eye Salad
- Acini de Pepe - cook this tiny round pasta according to package directions. You could substitute orzo, too.
- Instant Pudding - you will need one small package of instant pudding. I like to use white chocolate, but vanilla or another flavor would work great.
- Pineapple Juice - you could also use orange juice.
- Pineapple - fresh diced pineapple adds loads of sweetness to the salad and tastes great with the coconut.
- Grapes - to make them easier to eat I like to slice the grapes in half.
- Mandarins - the classic acini de pepe salad uses canned mandarins but I love using fresh oranges. You can use cuties or another seedless mandarin, or segment any of your favorite type of orange.
- Whipping Cream - instead of Cool Whip, I like to whip up real whipped cream. It only takes a couple of minutes and tastes so much better.
- Shredded Coconut - you can use sweetened or unsweetened coconut.
- Mini Marshmallows - this is a classic ingredient in Frog Eye Salad! For fun, you could use colored marshmallows.
How to Make This Recipe for Frog Eye Salad
- Cook the pasta. Cook the acini de pepe according to the directions on the package. After you cook and drain the hot water, run cool water over the pasta to cool it down. Strain the pasta and put it in the fridge to continue to cool.
- Make the pudding mixture. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix the instant pudding mix and pineapple juice together. Whisk for a couple of minutes, or until there aren't any lumps and the pudding is getting a little thicker. Set aside to continue to thicken.
- Fold in the rest. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the whipped cream and whip until you get soft peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the thickened pudding mixture with a spatula. Then, fold in the cooled acini de pepe, fresh fruit, shredded coconut, and marshmallows.
- Chill. Store in the fridge until you are ready to serve. Enjoy!
Recipe Variations for Frog Eye Salad
Here are just a few of the many variations you can explore when making frog eye salad. Don't be afraid to get creative and experiment with different ingredients to create your own unique twist on this classic salad!
- Tropical Frog Eye Salad: Add diced mangoes, kiwi, and sliced bananas to the shredded coconut.
- Berry Frog Eye Salad: Add a burst of freshness to your salad by incorporating a variety of berries. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries not only add vibrant colors but also a tangy flavor that compliments the sweetness of the salad.
- Chocolate Frog Eye Salad: For all the chocolate enthusiasts out there, this variation is a dream come true. Mix in chocolate pudding mix, crushed chocolate cookies, and chocolate chips to give your salad a rich and indulgent twist. It's like a dessert disguised as a salad!
- Citrus Frog Eye Salad: Add segments of grapefruit, blood oranges, and lime zest to give your salad a refreshing and tangy kick. The combination of citrus fruits and creamy dressing creates a bright and zesty flavor profile.
- Mint Watermelon Frog Eye Salad: Add a cool and refreshing twist to your salad by incorporating diced watermelon and fresh mint leaves. The juicy watermelon pairs perfectly with the sweet pasta and creamy dressing, while the mint adds a hint of freshness to every bite.
- Caramel Apple Frog Eye Salad: Give your frog eye salad a fall-inspired twist by adding diced caramel apples, toasted pecans, and a drizzle of caramel sauce. The combination of the sweet caramel, crunchy apples, and creamy pasta creates a delightful blend of flavors and textures.
- Savory Mediterranean Frog Eye Salad: If you prefer savory over sweet, this variation is for you. Swap the sweet ingredients for savory ones like diced cucumber, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, and a tangy vinaigrette dressing. It's a refreshing and light option for those who want a break from the sweetness.
Frequently Asked Questions
Frog Eye Salad gets its name from the tiny round noodles called acini de pepe that supposedly feel like frog eyes in your mouth. I know that sounds gross but trust me - it actually has a really fun texture that is wildly popular with any kids I have given it to.
This Frog Eye Salad should last for up to a few days in the fridge. I don't recommend trying to freeze it - the texture will become very grainy.
Storing Frog Eye Salad
- Refrigerator: store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Easy Frog Eye Salad Recipe
- 1 pkg Acini de Pepe cooked according to package directions
- 1 small package Instant Pudding White Chocolate, vanilla, or your favorite flavor
- 2½ cups Pineapple Juice or orange juice
- 1½ cups Pineapple diced
- 1 cup Grapes cut in half
- 1 cup Mandarins segmented
- 1½ cups Whipping Cream whipped
- ½ cup Shredded Coconut sweetened
- 5 cups Mini Marshmallows
- Cook the acini de pepe according to the directions on the package. After you cook and drain the hot water, run cool water over the pasta to cool it down. Strain the pasta and put it in the fridge to continue to cool.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix the instant pudding mix and pineapple juice together. Whisk for a couple of minutes, or until there aren't any lumps and the pudding is getting a little thicker. Set aside to continue to thicken.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the whipped cream and whip until you get soft peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the thickened pudding mixture with a spatula. Then, fold in the cooled acini de pepe, fresh fruit, shredded coconut, and marshmallows.
- Store in the fridge until you are ready to serve. Enjoy!
Here are some other great ideas to take to a potluck:
- Broccoli Salad With Bacon
- Wedge Salad Kabobs
- Buffalo Chicken Drumsticks
- Orange Creamsicle Sugar Cookie Bars
- Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars
If you’ve tried this recipe, please rate it and leave a comment on this post. I love hearing feedback from you. It helps me and other readers too! If you love Pinterest, feel free to leave a comment and photo there too. Also, if you like to share, use the hashtag #thecarefreekitchen on Instagram and tag me @thecarefreekitchen so I can find you and give your post some love. You can also find me on Facebook at The Carefree Kitchen. Thank you!!
This Easy Frog Eye Fruit Salad recipe is made with fresh fruit and instant pudding. It's a great salad recipe for BBQ and one of the best potluck salads. This acini de pepe frog eye salad is a twist on the classic and is delicious every time!