Real Food Shamrock Shake Recipe

Katie Wells Avatar

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shamrock shake recipe
Wellness Mama » Blog » Recipes » Real Food Shamrock Shake Recipe

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’re pretty much the opposite of real food! This St. Patrick’s day, you can try a healthy copycat Shamrock Shake recipe instead.

Homemade Shamrock Shake

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 they love this green concoction, 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 it’s 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 then reappeared as a milkshake, and eventually evolved into the mint and vanilla-flavored drink that’s so popular. More recent versions include an oreo Shamrock McFlurry with oreo cookies and mint chocolate flavor.

The McDonald’s Shamrock Shake recipe relies on artificial green coloring, artificial flavor, and loads of high fructose corn syrup. A lot of the copycat recipes aren’t much healthier. They call for vanilla ice cream and green food coloring and garnish it off with green sprinkles, and a sugary red dye-filled maraschino cherry.

This real food milkshake recipe uses pure peppermint extract and naturally green foods like spinach and avocado. Even though there are veggies hiding in this dessert, all you’ll taste 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 has the full daily value of vitamin K and folate. Plus it has 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 recipe. This green leaf has loads 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 boosts 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 for a limited time, 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. It’s not as sweet as the original version, (which has 13 teaspoons of sugar for a medium size!). But feel free to add some more maple syrup or honey if you prefer a sweeter taste.

Some people don’t like as strong of a mint flavor. In that case, use 1/2 teaspoon mint extract and 1 teaspoon vanilla instead of the full amount. You can use raw whole milk if desired or opt for your favorite plant-based milk. If you want a boozy version for grownups, then add a little homemade coconut milk Irish Cream. It tastes like Bailey’s, but with healthier ingredients.

This recipe makes enough for two real food Shamrock Shakes so you can share with a friend!

Topping Options

What’s a St. Patrick’s day treat without yummy toppings? You can add some coconut whipped cream to the top to make it even creamier. It’s made with just a few simple ingredients plus its dairy free. You could also add some chocolate chips or shavings to the top, or a drizzle of healthier chocolate syrup. For an extra fancy touch, try some whipped cream with scraped vanilla bean on top.

shamrock shake recipe

Healthy Shamrock Shake Recipe

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!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Calories 377kcal
Author Katie Wells


2 large shakes



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


Nutrition Facts
Healthy Shamrock Shake Recipe
Amount Per Serving (2 cups)
Calories 377 Calories from Fat 141
% Daily Value*
Fat 15.7g24%
Saturated Fat 5.9g37%
Cholesterol 20mg7%
Sodium 142mg6%
Carbohydrates 50.7g17%
Fiber 3.4g14%
Sugar 46.5g52%
Protein 9.4g19%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Have fun customizing this healthy shake to fit your preferences. Choose the type of milk and level of sweetness that works for you!

Tried this recipe? Let us know how it was!

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!

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

Shamrock Shake Recipe Pinterest
Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


33 responses to “Real Food Shamrock Shake Recipe”

  1. Alysha Avatar

    Can I use fresh spearamint? How much do you think i would I have to use?

  2. Thera Avatar

    5 stars
    Has anyone tried this with dates in place of the maple syrup (etc)?

  3. Jennifer Avatar

    I have a nickel allergy, is there an alternative to spinach, or can I just omit it?

  4. Chelsey Avatar

    46 grams of sugar still seems like a lot…is that just from the honey/maple syrup? I’ve been trying to keep sugars low due to inflammation, but is it different if it comes from a natural source? Thanks 🙂

  5. Josiah Avatar

    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.

  6. deb Avatar

    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!

  7. Laura Avatar

    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!

  8. Lauren McNaughton Avatar
    Lauren McNaughton

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

  9. Sandra Davidson Avatar
    Sandra Davidson

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

  10. Sarah Avatar

    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. Aimee Avatar

    4 stars
    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!

  12. Kathryn Avatar

    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!

  13. Jen Avatar

    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!

  14. beverly smith Avatar
    beverly smith

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

  15. Jinny Avatar

    5 stars
    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.”

  16. Jamie Avatar

    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! 🙂

  17. Cheri Avatar

    5 stars
    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.

  18. Jennifer Avatar

    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.

    1. Katie - Wellness Mama Avatar

      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.

  19. Lee Avatar

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

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