This Frog Eye Salad is a light and creamy dish that can be served as a side dish or a dessert. Sweet and fruity, it’s a fun recipe that everyone will love!
Why You Will Love Frog Eye Salad
- UNIQUE – Just the name will get everyone’s attention. And with bright, fun colors, this dish will disappear quickly!
- FEEDS A CROWD – This recipe makes A LOT. As you add the ingredients, it really starts to fill out. You can tell from the pictures that I didn’t use a big enough bowl to mix everything together! So make sure you are using a large bowl or pot to assemble this dish. But it makes this dish is perfect to feed a crowd at BBQs, Potlucks or Pitch Ins.
- DELICIOUS – Once you get over the name, this light, creamy and fruity salad is so YUMMY! It’s full of flavor, but not too filling.
- MAKE AHEAD – This is one of those dishes that actually tastes better a couple hours after it’s been combined and has been sitting in the fridge.
Why Do They Call It Frog Eye Salad?
The main ingredient in this dish is usually made with acini di pepe pasta, which are very small and round in shape and about the size of peppercorns. Mixed into this Salad, they resemble frog’s eyes. No one is really sure who came up with this name, but it seems to be very popular in the Utah area. It’s an old fashioned recipe that is a cross between a fruit salad, a pasta salad and a dessert.
We’ve heard of this salad being used for the Holidays around Christmas (top it with Maraschino Cherries) and Thanksgiving. We’ve also heard of people making it for Halloween (spooky frog eyes!!!!). And it is perfectly at home as a side dish or dessert at a cookout in the summer!
Since we had some Couscous laying around, we used that. Couscous has a very similar shape (although not technically a pasta) and it worked out great!
How To Make Frog Eye Salad
It’s really so easy! Just cook your pasta until tender. Stir together milk and pudding mix. Chill. Combine everything and then chill again! For step-by-step instructions, check out the printable recipe card below. But here is what you’ll need to get started.
- INSTANT VANILLA PUDDING – If needed, substitute for Sugar Free Instant Pudding. You could also use French Vanilla Pudding.
- MILK – We used 2% milk. But you could use skim milk to lighten this dish up a bit.
- COUSCOUS – Like I mentioned this dish is usually made with acini de pepe pasta (what you usually find in Italian Wedding Soup). But we used Couscous and it worked out great. You can use whatever one you’d like.
- MANDARIN ORANGES – Canned Oranges. Make sure you drain out the juice.
- PINEAPPLE TIDBITS – Drained.
- CRUSHED PINEAPPLE – Drained.
WHIPPED TOPPING – We just used the frozen whipped topping (Cool Whip) and thawed it out. If you want to make this a little healthier, you can make your own whipped cream (no preservatives) or use Truwhip.
MINI MARSHMALLOWS – All we had were the white ones, so we used that. But we recommend using the multi-colored ones for an extra splash of fun color.
SHREDDED COCONUT – For a little added sweetness and texture to the mixture!
Can You Use Other Pasta For Frog Eye Salad?
Yes! I’ve been hearing stories about some kids (and adults!) that are hesitant to eat this dish due to the name. A good substitute is to use Pastina, which is a small pasta that is star shaped. Then you can call it Star Pasta Salad! Or you could also use Alphabet Shaped Pasta and call this Alphabet Pasta Salad!
Storage, Leftovers and Freezing
This dish needs to be kept refrigerated. I would not leave out for longer than 2 hours at room temperature. I’d say less time if you are outside at a cookout on a hot day.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in your fridge. It should be good in your refrigerator for about 4 days.
Unfortunately, Frog Eye Salad does not freeze well.
Notes, Tips and FAQs
- RINSE PASTA IN COLD WATER – After you cook your pasta, rinse it in cold water. This will help cool it down and also rinse off the starches that may make them all stick together.
- GARNISHES – Garnish with more whipped topping, Maraschino Cherries (especially for christmas) or Mandarin Oranges.
We hope you enjoy this Frog Eye Salad Recipe. Let us know what you think in the comment section!
LOOKING FOR MORE DESSERT SALADS? CHECK OUT:
Frog Eye Salad
- 1 package vanilla instant pudding
- 2 cups milk
- 16 dry ounces couscous
- 2 cans 15 oz each, mandarin oranges, drained
- 1 can 20 oz, pineapple tidbits, drained
- 1 can 20 oz, crushed pineapple, drained
- 1 tub 8 oz, frozen whipped topping, thawed
- 1-1/2 cups mini marshmallows
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- Mix together pudding mix and milk with a wire whisk and refrigerate until set, about 5 minutes.
- Cook couscous according to package directions and place into a large mixing bowl. Let stand to cool.
- Fold in whipped topping and pudding.
- Add pudding, oranges, pineapples and mix well.
- Fold in marshmallows and coconut.
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.