Frog Eye Pasta Salad

Frog Eye Pasta Salad

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Many years ago, when I was first married, my mother-in-law served Frog Eye Pasta Salad at one of our family gatherings. I had never seen or tasted it before and thought it was quite wonderful. Of course, the name really catches your eye and imagination (especially those of little kids). Also known as Acini di Pepe Salad, it’s made from said pasta that is tiny and when boiled, resembles little balls of pasta – aka frog eyes.

Serving Frog Eye Salad in Pretty Serving Dishes

Recently, our pastor’s wife shared this recipe at a church potluck, and I was reminded again of how much I enjoyed this salad. Acini di pepe pasta can be difficult to find in stores, but I managed to locate some at Walmart, and I have vowed to always keep some of it in my pantry from now on. I have also seen recipes for its use in soups, so there are multiple ways to use this pasta.

This pasta salad is a lot like my recipe for Ambrosia – Five Cup Salad, but has it’s own custard pudding, which I think really sets it apart from other salads. It’s quite delicious and makes a large amount, perfect for upcoming holiday gatherings. Do try some. I think you will love it.

 

Ingredients for Frog Eye Pasta Salad

  • pineapple tidbits, drained (reserve juice)
  • crushed pineapple, drained (reserve juice)
  • canned mandarin oranges, drained (reserve juice)
  • acini di pepe pasta
  • water
  • granulated sugar
  • large eggs
  • lemon juice
  • salt
  • cornstarch
  • frozen whipped topping
  • miniature marshmallows

 

Instructions for Making This Recipe

Ingredients Needed for this Recipe

To begin, gather all but the last two ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.

Drain and reserve the juice from the pineapple tidbits, crushed pineapple, and mandarin oranges. Place the fruit in a lidded container and refrigerate until needed, later in this recipe.

An alternative to using drained pineapple and mandarin oranges would be to use 40 oz of drained fruit cocktail. I think this would make an interesting and delicious salad as well, with everything else remaining the same.

Acini de Pepe Pasta

Place 3 quarts of water in a large saucepan, plus 2 teaspoons salt and bring to a boil. Add acini di pepe pasta and cook uncovered for 8-10 minutes, until al dente. Drain the pasta and allow to cool.

 

Prepare the Custard

In a medium saucepan, combine the reserved juice from the pineapple and mandarin oranges. (This should equal about 1 1/2 cups.)

Preparing the Custard Sauce

Add in the granulated sugar, large eggs, lemon juice, salt, and cornstarch. Whisk to combine and cook on medium-low heat until thickened, stirring constantly.

Mixing the Custard with the Cooked Pasta

Once the mixture thickens, add in the cooked pasta. Place in a covered container and refrigerate overnight.

 

Assemble the Salad

Adding Whipped Topping, Marshmallows and Fruits to the Custard and Pasta

The next day, add the reserved pineapple tidbits, crushed pineapple, and mandarin oranges to the custard mixture. Gently fold in the whipped topping and miniature marshmallows until all is incorporated. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Serving Frog Eye Salad at Potluck, Family Gathering, or for Brunch

This salad will easily serve 10-12 people.

See more Salad Recipes Here. Browse Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas Here. 

 

Recipe for Frog Eye Pasta Salad

Frog Eye Pasta Salad

Frog Eye Pasta Salad is a wonderful family recipe made with Acini di Pepe pasta, which boiled makes little balls of pasta - aka frog eyes.
5 from 1 vote
Print Rate
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Acini di Pepe, Mandarin Oranges, Marshmallows, Pineapple, Whipped Topping
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 11

Equipment

Cuisinart Cookware
Stainless Colander
Measuring Tools
Spurtle Set

Ingredients

  • 20 oz pineapple tidbits drained (reserve juice)
  • 10 oz crushed pineapple drained (reserve juice)
  • 15 oz canned mandarin oranges drained (reserve juice)
  • 1 cup acini di pepe pasta
  • 3 quarts water plus 2 teaspoons salt for boiling
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 8 oz frozen whipped topping thawed
  • 4 cups miniature marshmallows

Instructions

  • To begin, gather all but the last two ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.
    Drain and reserve the juice from the pineapple tidbits, crushed pineapple, and mandarin oranges. Place the fruit in a lidded container and refrigerate until needed, later in this recipe.
  • Add 3 quarts of water to a large saucepan, plus 2 teaspoons salt and bring to a boil. Add acini di pepe pasta and cook uncovered for 8-10 minutes, until al dente. Drain the pasta and allow to cool.

Prepare the Custard

  • In a medium saucepan, combine the reserved juice from the pineapple and mandarin oranges. (This should equal about 1 1/2 cups.)
  • Add in the granulated sugar, large eggs, lemon juice, salt, and cornstarch.
  • Whisk to combine and cook on medium-low heat until thickened, stirring constantly.
  • Once the mixture thickens, add in the cooked pasta. Place in a covered container and refrigerate overnight.

Assemble the Salad

  • The next day, add the reserved pineapple tidbits, crushed pineapple, and mandarin oranges to the custard mixture.
  • Gently fold in the whipped topping and miniature marshmallows until all is incorporated. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Serves 10-12.

Nutrition

Calories: 306kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 270mg | Potassium: 185mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 48g | Vitamin A: 610IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 1mg
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