This healthy Shamrock Shake tastes better than the kind you’d buy at a drive-thru. It’s a nutritious, mint-flavored milkshake that is naturally green– no food dye required!
Why You’ll Love It
It’s naturally green. Instead of relying on green food coloring like the McDonald’s version, this copycat recipe gets its green hue from simple ingredients, like spinach and avocado. You can’t taste it at all, so it’s the perfect treat for St. Patrick’s Day! (No gel food coloring required.)
It’s easy to make. Just toss a few ingredients into a blender, and blend until smooth. Then you’ll add the ice and blend again until it has a slushy texture, just like a milkshake! Unlike the version that is available only for a limited time, you can make this one anytime a craving strikes.
It’s a delicious treat. This smoothie recipe tastes like a sweet, mint-flavored dessert, without using refined sugar or vanilla ice cream.
It’s easy to customize. If you’re not a fan of avocado, you can skip that and use a frozen banana for creaminess, or add a spoonful of almond butter, instead. Either will add a dairy-free creaminess, without relying on ice cream.
Ingredients You’ll Need
The spinach will add a green color, but you can’t taste it at all! The peppermint extract will add a minty flavor, but you can also use a few fresh mint leaves, if you prefer. (Any other mint extract available at your grocery store should work here, too.)
You can use any milk as the base of this recipe, including whole milk, almond milk, or coconut milk, if you need a dairy-free option.
How to Make a Healthy Shamrock Shake
In a high-speed blender, combine the almond milk, avocado, spinach, pitted Medjool dates (or maple syrup), and peppermint extract. Blend until the dates are totally pulverized, and the mixture has a creamy texture, almost like a green pudding.
Note: If you don’t have a high-speed blender, omit the dates and use 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, instead. This will be much easier to blend!
2. Add the ice.
Once the mixture is smooth, add the ice and blend again to achieve a slushy texture, or your desired consistency. Keep in mind that the more ice you add, the more diluted the flavor will become.
Taste the smoothie and make any adjustments, as needed. You can add more mint extract for a minty flavor, or a little more maple syrup for extra sweetness.
Pour the smoothie into a glass and serve it right away for the best taste and texture. To make it look like McDonald’s shamrock shake recipe, garnish it with whipped cream and a cherry, or a few green sprinkles, if you keep them on hand.
Storage Tip: Smoothies don’t always store well in the fridge overnight, so if you have leftovers, pour them into a popsicle mold and freeze them for a treat later!
Variations & Frequently Asked Questions
This seasonal milkshake is usually available starting in late February through March, but you can make this homemade version anytime!
Yes, you can add a few chocolate chips to this recipe in the final step (when you add the ice) to distribute bits of chocolate throughout the smoothie. Or, try drizzling some chocolate syrup on top, for an easy mint chocolate flavor.
This recipe calls for minimal liquid, since the ice added later might dilute the flavor slightly. You can always add a little extra milk or water to help thin out the consistency, if you need to!
Looking for more St. Patrick’s Day ideas? Try Sweet Spinach Muffins, Mint Matcha Cookies, or Pistachio Ice Cream for more delicious recipes.
Healthy Shamrock Shake
- 3/4 cup almond milk (or water)
- 1/4 avocado , pitted
- 1 cup fresh baby spinach
- 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 5 Medjool dates , pitted (or 2 T maple syrup)
- 1 to 2 large handfuls of ice
- Combine the almond milk, avocado, spinach, peppermint extract, and dates and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the any flavoring as needed, but keep in mind that the flavor will be diluted slightly when you add the ice in the next step.
- Add the ice and blend again, until the smoothie is as thick as you’d like. Serve right away.
If you try this copycat Shamrock Shake recipe, please leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how you like it.
Questions and Reviews
Oh yeah! This looks great. I think I’ll switch the dates for 1/2 a banana. Yum.
That’s what I do. It’s delicious!
What if you are allergic to tree nuts? Could you use soy milk?
I’m guessing that you can use any type of milk
I noticed some of your recipes have dates in it, that I can’t have. Is Maple Syrup always a good replacement??
I was thinking about making one with mint-flavoured chlorophyll (which would also be green), instead of the peppermint extract.
Mint chocolate chip ice cream was my favorite as well but, I don’t eat ice cream any more. I can’t wait to try this!! I have everything except the avocado & will have to wait for one to ripen! Thanks for all your great recipes. My husband & I love your carrot ginger dressing – we have it probably 4 out of 7 days a week! I made your raspberry chocolate muffins last week too.
She has a recipe for mint-chocolate chip ice cream, that doesn’t have cream or milk in it.
What is the difference between carrageenan and Irish Moss?
I’ve never had a shamrock shake or even wanted to try one, but your version sounds delicious!!
I thought carrageenan was just seaweed. I quickly read a wiki about it and it seems it’s a seaweed derivative and caused tumors in some trials. I’ll stick to chia or flax for thickening…
Thanks for the recipe!
Wow dont think we get that drink over here but look delicious. I have been making my own almond milk and cant get over how easy it is! need to get me some peppermint oil too – so good for my tummy!
I make a shamrock shake often. Mine’s a bit different, but the secret ingredient I use is a frozen banana or two! It’s soo yummy that way and gives it the “traditional” icecreamy taste.
This is DELICIOUS! Just made it for myself and can’t wait to share with my picky Kiddos! Love all your recipes, Thanks for all your inventive cooking and sharing. Good luck with your cookbook.
I love avocados in smoothies and this one looks to refreshingly creamy and good! Can’t wait to try!!
As a former fan of mint chocolate-chip ice cream too, I’m definitely a fan of minty smoothies. I decided on Saturday that I would make a minty green smoothie like this, without the avocado and dates, but with almond butter. It’s so great that I’m sipping it all week long.
We are allergic to avocado at my house. Banana sounds like a good substitute for the creamy texture but for those who have tried it, does it taste like banana? Banana/mint doesn’t sound like a good combination to me.
I tried this recipe as written, and it was outstanding. I have family coming into town this week who live in a different part of the country and are struggling with health issues related to sugar addiction and poor nutrition. This recipe comes to me at an absolutely perfect time, and I can’t wait to share it with them! Thanks again.
I will be trying out this recipe soon!
I LOOOVE the adorable glass you are serving it in? Did you get it any place special?
Looks like a very tasty alternative – I didn’t realise there were so many ingredients in the Mcdonalds one –
Made a double batch for dessert for my husband, two boys and me last night – it was FANTASTIC! I didn’t have the dates, but the maple syrup provided the perfect amount of sweetness without tasting maple-y (threw in some dark chocolate chips too). Everyone loved it. Just discovered your website as I was looking for wheat free recipes. Really looking forward to trying more of them. Thank you!
Yum! I plan to make this today but leave out the peppermint since I’m still nursing. I’ll just have to add it to my list of drinks after bebe is done 😉
You have outdone even yourself! My children just had spinach and avocado for dessert!!! And I am licking the blender. It is delicious and the only change I would recommend is to double the recipe! Happy St. Paddy’s Day, and as they say in Ireland, Thank You!!
This was DELICIOUS!! My daughter was craving the McDonald’s shamrock shake so I made this instead. She liked it better than McDonalds. We will be making this again… OFTEN!! THANK YOU for your wonderful recipes.
We made them 3-4 nights in a row. My 6 year old girl kept begging for them. She even saw all the ingredients I put in the blender. One of the times I put in extra ice and extra avocado, added a few dark chocolate chips and we had peppermint bonbon ice-cream 🙂
This is so yummy! The avocado gives it that creaminess you just miss from other smoothies…..great replacement from ice cream and I still get my shamrock fix. Thanks!
This is an AMAZING recipe!! I had just feeling nostalgic for the mint chocolate chip shakes at Baskin Robbins, and this is nearly identical in flavor! I made a half recipe, and I didn’t have any spinach so instead I substituted about 5 leaves of endive that I had around the house. SO DELISH! Thank you thank you!!!
This is so delicious! My 16 month old son is obsessed with it too 🙂 Thank you!
Hi there, Love the green smoothie! I just found a web site about certain vegetables to not eat them raw … like spinach as they are a Cruciferous vegetable and should not be eaten raw.
I wanted to share and was wondering your opinion on this as you studied it and it is a profession of yours. I wanted to go to the professional rather then listening to a web site post.
Thank you! : ) Eva from Canada.
I have used avocado in a smoothie a couple of times – I normally use banana. With dates and peppermint extract, this sounds delicious! I love that it’s vegan and gluten free.
It was amazing! My kids loved it too! Your website is so wonderful, I use it almost daily. Do you know of any nut, sugar and dairy free chocolate chips? I would like to add the chocolate next time; we use Enjoy Life but it has cane syrup?
This is one of my all time favorite green smoothies! I had run out of peppermint extract and kept forgetting to buy it at the store…So glad I remembered to pick some up at Whole Foods this week and this refreshing yummylicious shake is back in rotation…I love this with Kale and coconut milk as well and if your dates have gotten a little hard, they are easy to soften up by soaking them in the “milk” of your choice the night before you are going to use. Thanks Meagan for all your amazing creations!
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. My kids always beg me to get shakes on St. Patrick’s Day, and I just can’t do it knowing what is tin them. These were a big hit not only with my family, but all the neighborhood kids. I ending up making three blenders full.
Yay! I’m so glad to hear that!
This was SO good. My daughter loved it. Especially with dark chocolate bits in it 😉
Of course Megan has just what I am craving and so delicious! I added some Enjoy Life chocolate chips to this and it hit the spot. Yum!
Thanks for the avocado substitution suggestion. I’m going to try to make this tonight. Avos are a migraine trigger for me, so I avoid them at all costs.
Can I use fresh mint instead of the peppermint extract?
I love this milkshake! Not too minty or too sweet, and the spinach is just enough to make it green. You can’t even taste it! The avocado makes it so smooth like ice cream does to an actual milkshake. I make it for my little brother at least once a week. Thank you Mrs Gilmore!!💖😁😉
This is one of my favorite smoothies of yours. I do think it tastes better than McDonald’s!
Has anyone made it without Spinach? I can’t have it wondering if it would taste good without?
Yes! The spinach doesn’t really affect the flavor either way, it’s just for the green color. 🙂
And I only used 3 dates to cut sugar. Some would need the extra sweetness, I imagine.
Thank you ! I can always count on you to have wonderful recipes!
I made this today to make sure I liked it before bringing it to a St Patrick’s day breakfast this weekend. It was delicious! I feel other recipes I’ve tried are always too creamy or too bland, but this is perfect! (1/4 avocado is exactly the right amount of creaminess) So easy and my kiddos drank it up, too! Another winner from Detoxinista!
Exactly the smoothie I needed this morning – stressful day with work and everything else going on in the world! But a little bit of tradition and fun put a smile on my face. Deliciously sweet but healthy. The only change I made was to use beet greens because I just harvested my beets from the garden and have a lot of those greens. Worked perfect and it was still green. Thanks!
Excited to try this…finally something WITHOUT BANANAS! Thank you!
I’m not a fan of “flavorings” or extracts. I used a couple handfuls of fresh mint leaves instead. Yummy!
One of my kids’ favorite shakes/smoothies. I usually throw in some carob chips or chocolate chips at the end of blending. It’s so creamy and delicious and tasted like a dessert! I also added flax to make it a meal.
I’ve never had the original, but my husband loves it, so I made him this and he said it was yummy. I did have to make some adjustments, because I didn’t have enough spinach, so I used a little bit of Romaine and I went a bit lighter on the peppermint, which he said could have been stronger, so if you have all the ingredients, I definitely recommend following the recipe😊. I thought it tasted like mint chip Ice cream, so I sprinkled some cacao nibs on mine.
This was SO GOOOD! Made it with dates that i soaked first and added half cup plain yogurt. It was Awesome! Thank you