One of my family favorite edit for gatherings at any time of year is Frog-Eye Salad. I’ve also seen this called Hawaiian pasta salad or just acini de pepe salad (after the pasta in the salad). I’ve seen it with a custard base, or with boxed pudding mix. with two cans of pineapple or with three, and with various amounts of mandarin oranges, but this is the recipe I use.

Fun fact, a former brother-in-law of loved this salad the first time he tasted it, even going back for seconds. Then he found out what it was called and didn’t finish what was on his plate, never mind try it again. So beware if you have squeamish family members.

This salad is runny when you first mix it, but after it chills, the sauce thickens up nicely. It is actually better if it sits in the fridge overnight as it lets the pasta take on the other flavors.

I took this particular batch of salad to my writing retreat at Lake of the Ozarks this week with several friends. Retreats are the most productive writing time I spend all year–especially this one since my cell phone doesn’t get service in the neighborhood where we stay.

Frog Eye Salad

Frog Eye Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 52 minutes

This family favorite will please most everyone!


  • 2 tsp flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 16 oz of acini de pepe pasta
  • 2-20 oz cans pineapple (I use 1 tidbits, 1 crushed)
  • 2-11 oz cans mandarin oranges
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 8-oz of cool whip
  • 1 cup flake coconut


    1. In a sauce pan, heat flour, salt, eggs, sugar,pineapple juice and simmer until thick, or about 170 degrees, stirring frequently. remove from heat and add lemon juice. Set aside to cool.

    2. Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain, and place in a large bowl. (seriously, this makes a big salad.)

    3. Pour the cooled juice mixture over the pasta and add the remaining ingredients, mixing well. Chill until you're ready to serve--at least two hours but overnight gives the best flavor..


This will look runny when you finish mixing the ingredients, but it thickens up as it chills.

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