The recipe prices will vary based on fluctuating grocery costs. Please use what is posted as a guide.
Frog Eye Salad, or Acini de Pepe Fruit Salad, is a sweet vintage pasta salad served as a side dish or dessert during holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and Summer BBQs.
It costs $7.33 to make this recipe. The recipe makes twelve servings, which works out to be just $0.61 per serving.
While looking at vintage recipes, be sure to check out our Seven Layer Salad, our Raspberry Cranberry Jello Salad, and our Tuna Noodle Casserole.
Acini de Pepe Fruit Salad Recipe
Frog Eye Salad sounds like something you should serve at a Halloween party, right? Do not let the name fool you, though; it is a staple at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter parties.
This salad is also known as Acini de Pepe Fruit Salad because the recipe calls for Acini de Pepe pasta. It is a creamy, fluffy, sweet salad that can be served as a side dish or a dessert.
While it is perfect for holiday dinners, it can also be served at summer potlucks, BBQs, and even family reunions because everyone loves it! The dish is a unique and vintage recipe that everyone’s grandmother always made.
People may have forgotten about this dish, but we are bringing it back in full force with some shortcuts to help make it even easier to make. Using instant pudding and store-bought Cool Whip, make this such a simple recipe that even your kiddos can learn to make on their own.
For the best results, be sure to let the pudding and pasta mixture chill in the fridge overnight. Then the next day, fold in the pineapple, marshmallows, mandarin oranges, coconut, and cool whip. You will create a crowd-pleasing, cool and fruity dish that will become a holiday staple for your family and loved ones for years to come.
Ingredients & Cost:
- 16 ounces acini di pepe pasta – $1.48
- 3.4 oz package instant vanilla pudding – $0.50
- 2 cups pineapple juice (the juice comes from the canned pineapple below) – $0.00
- 8 oz container Cool Whip – $0.82
- 1 cup marshmallow creme – $0.94
- 20 ounce can pineapple tidbits – $1.48
- 20 ounce can crushed pineapple – $0.98
- 15 ounce can mandarin oranges – $1.54
- 3 cups miniature marshmallows – $0.66
- 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes – $0.41
To find out more about how we price our recipes, check out Budget Recipes Explained.
- First, cook the pasta and then place it in a large bowl to cool.
- Next, make the pineapple pudding.
- Then add the pudding to the pasta and chill in the fridge.
- Combine the cool whip and marshmallow creme.
- Add all of the ingredients to the bowl with the pasta.
- Then fold all ingredients into the pasta.
- Finally, garnish with desired toppings and serve.
RECIPE VARIATIONS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Instead of Cool Whip you can use 2 cups of whipping cream whipped to stiff peaks (so 4 cups of whipped cream).
Serve: As with most recipes with dairy products in them, you shouldn’t leave this out for longer than two hours.
Store: Keep the leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for up to three days.
Freeze: This is not a recipe that freezes well, so we do not recommend freezing it.
- mixing bowls
- rubber scraper
- large bowl
- liquid measuring cup
- measuring cups
- large pot
The salad is made with pasta, pineapple, marshmallows, mandarin oranges, coconut, and cool whip. You can then garnish it with more cool whip, mandarin oranges, and maraschino cherries.
No, that are different. Acini de Pepe pasta is similar in texture to tapioca once the pasta is mixed in with the rest of the ingredients. But tapioca is little balls that come from cassava root starch, while Acini de Pepe is a type of pasta.
GET KIDS INVOLVED
Ages 2-3: Have them help you dump the ingredients into the bowl. Practice counting as they pour in the cups of mini marshmallows.
Ages 4-5: Teach your child how to drain the juice from the pineapple cans. Then have them mix the liquid with the pudding mix.
Ages 6-8: Have them pre-measure all of the dry and wet ingredients for you. Then teach them how to fold in the ingredients with the pasta.
Ages 9-11: Supervise them while they prepare the entire recipe. Remember to have them read it twice before beginning the recipe.
Ages 12+: Let them prepare the entire recipe, unsupervised, while you do the happy dance in the corner!
We like to stock up on tubs of Cool Whip when they go on sale. They are easy to store in your freezer to use as needed for recipes like this one.
MORE HOLIDAY RECIPES
- 1-Hour Dinner Rolls
- Asparagus in the Oven
- Beef Chuck Roast
- Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots
- Easy Orange Cranberry Sauce
- French-Bread Stuffing Recipe
- Green Beans Almondine
- Hashbrown Casserole-Funeral Potatoes
- Instant Pot Turkey Breast
- Jenna’s Naughty Mashed Potatoes
Frog Eye Salad (Acini de Pepe Fruit Salad)
- mixing bowls
- rubber scraper
- large bowl
- Liquid measuring cup
- measuring cups
- large pot
- 16 ounces acini di pepe pasta
- 3.4 oz package instant vanilla pudding
- 2 cups pineapple juice use the drained juice from the pineapple chunks and crushed pineapple
FRUIT AND FLUFF:
- 8 oz container Cool Whip
- 1 cup marshmallow creme
- 20 ounce can pineapple tidbits drained juice is used earlier in the recipe
- 20 ounce can crushed pineapple drained juice used earlier in the recipe
- 15 ounce can mandarin oranges drained
- 3 cups miniature marshmallows
- 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
GARNISHES (all optional):
- Additional Cool Whip
- Additional mandarin slices
- Maraschino cherries
COOK AND COOL PASTA:
- Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water for 10 minutes. Then drain pasta rinse under cold water. Place pasta in a large Tupperware to cool.
MAKE PINEAPPLE PUDDING:
- Add the pudding packet to a medium bowl. Pour in pineapple juice. Whisk until combined. Chill for 10 minutes.
- Once the pasta has cooled, add the pudding to the pasta and stir to combine.
- Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, but overnight is better.
ADD IN FRUIT AND FLUFF:
- Add Cool Whip to a medium bowl and whisk in the marshmallow creme until incorporated.
- Transfer the pasta mixture to a large serving bowl. Fold in Cool Whip mixture, drained fruit, marshmallows, and coconut.
GARNISH AND SERVE:
- Garnish with piped cool whip, mandarin slices, and maraschino cherries (all optional). Serve or chill until ready to serve.
This looks so delicious. My kids will love this fruit salad. I’m going to make it nex weekend for our kids party. Thanks!
I grew up having this at our family reunions! My aunt always brought this and I love it. I can’t wait to try and make it myself.
This fruit salad is perfect for holidays! Looks great.
Love this sweet take on a pasta salad! Made this with my kids today and they absolutely loved it!
Maria San Juan says
This looks so yummy and I can even feed this to my kids as well! So excited to make this for the holidays!
Dana Sandonato says
Oh my goodness! I love the idea of acini de pepe in this. Almost reminds me of tapioca pudding and I love it!
We loved it!! So yummy and colorful. We made it with fresh whipping cream since I am not a fan of cool whip.