Shamrock Shake Two Ways: Healthy or Treat Yo Self!

Shamrock Shake - Healthy and a Treat
Recipe At-A-Glance
Gluten-Free5 minutes
Did you know that you can make the coveted Shamrock Shake at home, no trip to the golden arches required? Here are two versions – one healthy, and one not-so-much.

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Shamrock Shake - A Healthier Take
Shamrock Shake Copycat

I have exactly 0.0% Irish ancestry. Which makes me exactly as much of an Irish culture expert as I need to be to make a Shamrock Shake—because a Shamrock Shake is exactly 0.0% Irish, too!

I’m not even going to pretend that the gloriously minty, green concoction that is known as a Shamrock Shake has anything to do with Irish culture. But what I will say? The Shamrock Shake is BONKERS delicious. And if you’re looking for a less-than-culturally-accurate way to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day (or let’s be honest, any day, because this ish is yummy), I’ve got your back.

Now, if you’ve never had a Shamrock Shake (or heard of one, even), that’s understandable, because they are elusive creatures from the land of the golden arches.

Shamrock Shakes are green, minty, smooth and incredibly hard-to-find—only sold for a limited time each year and only at select McDonald’s locations. I’ve heard entire states are “dry” when it comes to offering up the green goodness. There are even entire websites out there dedicated to the search and recovery of Shamrock Shakes. I told you they were special.

Shamrock Shake Copycat

No longer will you have to succumb to the whim of some McDonald’s corporate regulator. For today, I give you the power. The power to delete the “Find the Shake” website from your bookmarks. The power to stop calling every McDonald’s manager in a 100 mile radius.

Today, I give you the power to make your own Shamrock Shake. Scratch that. Today, I give you the power to make two different versions of the Shamrock Shake. I give you a healthy version packed with spinach and avocado and all kinds of green goodness. And I give you the copycat “treat yo self” version—a classic milkshake topped with a mountain of whipped cream. Donna Meagle would be proud.

Shamrock Shake - Healthy and a Treat

If you’re looking for a homemade, copycat, fool-a-McDonalds-employee version, you’ll want to do mix up the Treat Yo Self version. If you’re looking for a creamy, minty, healthy smoothie, you’ll love the Healthy version. Either way, you’re going to love it, I promise. Let’s dig in.

Shamrock Shake, a Healthier Take

Okay, so let’s be honest here, a spinach smoothie is *never* going to be a quality replica of a milkshake. But this healthy smoothie definitely satisfies the craving for something frosty, minty, and green! This is the Shamrock Shake the way I’d do it if I were to start my own fast food restaurant (HA.).

Shamrock Shake Copycat

Now this recipe? This is a real deal copycat recipe for what you get in the drive-thru at Mickey D’s. You can make this recipe pretty darn “clean” by using ice cream made with natural ingredients (look for brands that only list milk, cream, sugar, eggs, and vanilla) and skipping the green food coloring and maraschino cherry.

Personally, I feel like life is too short to get up in arms about one fully-loaded Shamrock Shake a year, so I go all-in with the coloring and the sprinkles and the cherry and enjoy the heck out of it.

Shamrock Shake - Two Versions

Shamrock Shake - Two Versions

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Did you know that you can make the coveted Shamrock Shake at home, no trip to the golden arches required? Here are two versions—one healthy, and one not-so-much.


For Healthy Take Version

  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk (from the can)
  • 1 ripe frozen banana
  • A handful of ice
  • 1/2 ripe avocado, peeled
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • Sweetened coconut whipped cream and fresh mint leaves, for garnish

For Treat Yo' Self Version

  • 3/4 cup vanilla ice cream
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 4 drops green food coloring
  • Sweetened whipped cream, maraschino cherries, green sprinkles, and fresh mint leaves, for garnish


For Healthy Take Version

  1. Blend coconut milk, banana, ice, avocado, spinach, vanilla extract, and peppermint extract in a high-powered blender until very smooth.
  2. Pour into a tall glass, and top with whipped coconut cream and mint leaves.

For Treat Yo' Self Version

  1. Blend ice cream, milk, extract and food coloring in a blender until smooth. If using a high powered blender (Blendtec, Vitamix, Ninja), blend on the lowest setting possible to make sure not to overheat the milkshake.
  2. Pour into a tall glass, and top with whipped cream, a maraschino cherry, sprinkles, and mint leaves.


For Healthy Take Version

  • Depending on the sweetness of your banana, you might want to add a tablespoon or so of maple syrup or honey to sweeten.

For Treat Yo' Self Version

  • Depending on the consistency of your ice cream, you may need to add more ice cream or milk to achieve desired thickness.
  • The controversy over whipped cream is thick (with stiff peaks!) on this topic. Traditional Shamrock Shakes do NOT have whipped cream. McDonald's starting adding that back in 2010. But my philosophy is that whipped cream is never, ever wrong.

Looking for more ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Dublin Coddle and Irish Soda Bread is my favorite dinner on March 17th! Another (delicious) option is Corned Beef and Cabbage. Add in some green beer, and you’ve got a perfect Irish-American meal.

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.

Leave a Reply

8 Responses
  1. Shantel

    Ohhh I’m stealing this recipe for tonight! My boyfriend is going to BBQ corn beef tonight for the first time and I will suprise him with this milkshake! 🙂 He is the cook of the house, I just reap the benefits! 🙂

  2. Jenn

    You make me laugh! Great post – I think instead of food coloring and extract I will add creme de menthe! Ok yeah, your right, it still has food coloring in it!

  3. Susan

    I was driving by McD’s and I heard a whisper in my ear..”You really need a Shamrock Shake”. (I think it may have been a leprechaun). I found myself in the drive thru ordering one, and I must say…It was delicious. 🙂

  4. Tanya

    I have always wanted to try a Shamrock shake but have never been able to because I’m allergic to food coloring/dyes. I’m excited to try this soon!

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