Real Food Shamrock Shake Recipe

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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. Mira Zaki Avatar
    Mira Zaki

    5 stars
    Soooo delicious- what a wonderful treat and festive. I’m so happy to have a recipe without bananas which always dominate the taste!

  2. Sara Avatar

    5 stars
    Oooh! That my friend was pure yum!! Wow- you just MADE my afternoon! My kids have been fussy today (one is teething), and this was just what I needed. I added some collagen and savored this on my patio during their nap. Thank you!!

  3. Nick Avatar

    I tell you what, it’s 9/10 of the way there, but needs ice cream for the consistency.

    Defeats the intent of a healthier treat, certainly, but at least it still won’t be McDonald’s-brand cyber-glop.

  4. Kylee Jo Avatar
    Kylee Jo

    5 stars
    Wow! What a great recipe. I just tried this and I will never buy one from… you know where!! What a great replacement. It feels so good to indulge in something that contains nutrient dense foods! Thank you so much!

  5. Erica Lichter Avatar
    Erica Lichter

    5 stars
    We’ve been making this the past few years as an alternative to the processed bought Shamrock Shakes, and it’s divine! I love the extra boost of nutrients provided, and the absence of processed sugar an other ingredients I don’t recognize. It’s quick and easy, and the kids love it!

  6. Tammie Avatar

    You could probably get similar results with a banana instead of the avocado.

  7. Janny Avatar

    5 stars
    Love recipes that hide veggies! They work on grown men…lol I made green tea ice cubes to add even more “green health”. Thanks for making it so easy to make healthier choices!

  8. Thera Avatar

    5 stars
    Yum! I’ve made this twice, once with whole cow milk and maple syrup, and once with raw cashews (+ water) and 4-5 dates. I don’t have peppermint extract so I just included a handful of mint leaves both times. Both versions came out super tasty, in my opinion; the whole milk version was probably creamier but I think I also used more avocado with it. My husband was skeptical (“I saw what you put in there” — he’s not one for milk or avocado, outside of guacamole) but really liked it when he tried it! I used steamed (i.e. microwaved) frozen spinach.

  9. Hayley Avatar

    We don’t typically have ice pre-made and I was looking for another food to make it thicker, so I added a large handful of cashews. If you have a Blentec, just make sure you Pulse the cashews first, then use the smoothie function for the other ingredients. I used about half the amount of sweetener and it still tasted great, maybe because the cashews taste sweet! Thinking about trying dates to sweeten it next time. My kids and I LOVED it, and the cashews made it more like a meal.

  10. Jenny Avatar

    St. Patrick’s Day is almost here, and this looks delicious!

    Do you think it would work to use fresh mint leaves instead of mint extract? And maybe scrape out some vanilla bean paste instead of using the vanilla extract? I’m looking to avoid alcohols right now.

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