Real Food Shamrock Shake Recipe

Healthy Shamrock Shake Recipe with Vanilla and Mint

The infamous McDonald’s Shamrock Shake makes its rounds once a year at the Golden Arches. Over 60 million of them have been sold since they were first introduced. With 54 ingredients in each shake, though, they are pretty much the opposite of real food!

It might come as a surprise that I’ve never actually tried this seasonally popular drink, but when some friends who normally eat super healthy were raving about how much this love green concoction from one of the most unhealthy restaurants, I decided to attempt to create a healthy, real food version!

Besides, I’m a big fan of getting nutrition through smoothies and shakes! This version includes nutritious avocado, so is a tasty (and much healthier!) way to get your Shamrock Shake fix.

A Little Shamrock Shake History

Shamrock Shakes were first introduced in the 1970s but they didn’t gain much popularity and were discontinued. Over the years this shake has morphed from a lemon and lime sherbet concoction to a vanilla sundae with disturbingly neon-green shamrock sauce. It was turned back into a milkshake and eventually evolved into the mint- and vanilla-flavored drink that’s so popular.

The McDonald’s Shamrock Shake relies on artificial green coloring, artificial flavor, and loads of high fructose corn syrup. This real food shamrock shake uses pure peppermint oil extract and naturally green foods like spinach and avocado.

Even though there are veggies hiding in this dessert, all that’s tasted is creamy, minty goodness.

A Healthy Dessert? Perfection!

Some people may find it strange to add avocado to a dessert, but this fruit adds a creamy texture and healthy fats. One avocado alone contains the full daily value of vitamin K and folate, and about 70% of the daily required vitamins B5, B6, C, and E.

Spinach is a familiar green in salads and breakfast quiches, but it’s just as at home in this real food shamrock shake. This green leaf contains high amounts of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as folate and some B vitamins. Spinach is a good source of certain minerals too, like iron, magnesium, potassium, and manganese.

Even better, avocado increases the bioavailability of the anti-inflammatory nutrients in the spinach. Spinach contains a poorly absorbed source of plant iron called non-heme iron. However, when vitamin C-rich foods are paired with plant-based iron sources, it significantly increases their bioavailability. The high amount of vitamin C in the avocado works perfectly!

(A note for anyone who has a thyroid issue, or is otherwise trying to avoid oxalic acid: use cooked spinach instead of raw.)

Real Food Shamrock Shake Recipe

Although the fast food version is only available once a year, this sweet treat is worth having all year round. It’s creamy and sweet, with enough nutrition to make it a smart choice any time of the year. (Although not as sweet as the original version, which contains over 19 teaspoons of sugar for a medium size!) Feel free to add some more maple syrup or honey though if you prefer a sweeter taste.

This recipe makes enough for two real food shamrock shakes so it can be shared with a friend!

Wellness Mama Real Food Copycat Shamrock Shake Recipe

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Real Food Shamrock Shake Recipe (With Avocado!)



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This refreshing shamrock shake recipe has flavors of vanilla and mint with a nutrient and color boost from spinach and avocado. A treat you can enjoy and feel great about!


  • 2 cups milk of choice (raw milk, almond, or coconut)
  • 4 cups ice cubes (about 17 ice cubes)
  • 1 tsp natural mint extract
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or raw honey (or vanilla stevia to taste)
  • 1 packed cup spinach


  1. In a blender combine the milk, mint extract, avocado, vanilla, spinach, and maple syrup or honey. Blend until very smooth.
  2. Add the ice cubes and blend just until it forms a shake consistency. Add more milk if it’s too thick for your blender.
  3. Pour the milkshake into cups of your choice.

Like this recipe? Check out my new cookbook, or get all my recipes (over 500!) in a personalized weekly meal planner here!

Do you or did you used to enjoy Shamrock Shakes? Leave a comment and let us know how you enjoyed this real food version!

Get your St. Patrick's Day indulgence without feeling guilty with this minty real-food version of the famous Shamrock Shake!


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Reader Comments

  1. Amazing! Spinach, avocado are the good sources of nutrients. I never tried this shake yet but gonna try today.

  2. I loved the Shamrock Shake but I am allergic to milk. This looks good but unfortunately I am also allergic to avocado. Is there anything else I can substitute? Thanks.

    • You could use an almond or coconut milk or any type of non-dairy milk. Avocado is trickier to sub because it adds the creaminess but it could probably just be omitted.

  3. Surprisingly good! I used coconut milk and maple syrup options. No one could tell there was spinach in it. The kids did say it didn’t taste like a shamrock shake from McDonald’s, but that it was good. It says that it’s 1 serving, but it was enough for 4 of us to have some.

  4. I’m going to try this shake recipe this morning with a few modifications (using what we have around the house). We don’t have avocado so I’ll add a frozen banana or two, and use coconut milk as it adds a hint of sweetness and more creaminess than other milks. Hopefully those two ingredients will boost the creamy factor and give us a Shamrock-worthy shake! 🙂

  5. So amazing! this is as close to a McDonald’s shamrock shake as one could ever get without all the terrible ingredients. This is really delicious! It does make a lot. I’ll probably cut recipe in half next time. I used maple syrup and coconut milk. Thank you for this recipe, as I’ve missed the “real thing.”

  6. Why do you suggest that people with thyroid issues use cooked spinach?

    • Some people with certain thyroid issues don’t do well with raw cruciferous vegetables just as some don’t do will with seaweed because of the iodine content.

  7. We make this one all the time! My kids call it mint chocolate chip smoothie, and we add a small handful of chocolate chips for the last few seconds of blending. We use more spinach and less milk to make it really thick. So yummy!

  8. I so want to try this!! This sounds delicious.

    Do you have an idea if i can leave the spinach out or replace it with something else? I technically have an allergy to peppermint and spinach. The mint i know i can’t substitute, is there a sub for spinach?

    Thank you so much!

  9. I doubled the recipe for our family of seven, and it was more than enough. Also, next time, I would use less peppermint extract; it was super minty, but otherwise quite refreshing and good. Thank you for a healthier alternative!

  10. Hi Wellness Mama, I noticed that you put as an option ‘Vanilla Stevia’ in the place of honey or maple syrup. I just wanted to put out a warning: Anyone who has a severe ragweed allergy should attempt to avoid Stevia. It can cause an allergic cross-reaction. I know that because of my ragweed problem, I can’t have Stevia, and wanted to make sure that other people knew.

  11. I use spinach avocado and coconut milk along with a protein mix, and coconut oil every morning , so delicious and feel great. Sandra

  12. This was SO good! I used canned coconut milk so it was extra thick. 4 servings for our family too. Thank you!

  13. Delicious! I used half canned coconut milk and half almond milk, mint (not peppermint) extract, added a scoop of pea protein and a Tablespoon of cacao powder, and got a thumbs up from my 4yo!

  14. I love the real McDonalds shake, nasties and all, but only have one per year. I am comfortable with that. But I will try your version since readers gave it such good reviews! Then I can have it year round- I love mint!

  15. Mmm. This was pretty good! I used a little stevia and some peppermint essential oil. I also tried it with cacao powder—also delicious—and with raw milk kefir…which was slightly weird, but still good.

  16. I added organic cocoa powder and it was THE BOMB!!!

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