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Food & Recipes

Copycat Shamrock Shake Recipe Is the Perfect Minty, Creamy Sip + It’s Dairy-Free!

This everyday ingredient gives the St. Paddy's Day-themed drink a slimming twist!

A shamrock shake is a beloved drink that’s too tasty to enjoy only on St. Patrick’s Day. While you can order this minty sip at the drive-thru, it’s simple to make a tastier version at home with fewer calories. Using frozen bananas instead of ice cream is a swap that slashes the drink’s calories while maintaining its creaminess. The best part? This healthier version of the sip blends to luscious perfection in less than 10 minutes. Keep reading for a tasty shamrock shake recipe that’s nutritionist-approved and a guaranteed family favorite!

What is a shamrock shake?

The shamrock shake is a McDonald’s creation that consists of vanilla ice cream and mint-flavored corn syrup. These ingredients are blended until they form a velvety drink that’s topped with whipped cream. In true seasonal fashion, it’s a limited-edition menu item that’s served around St. Patrick’s Day. (For more St. Paddy’s day recipes, check out our stories on Irish corned beef and cabbage, Irish cookies and snacks for St. Patrick’s Day.)

How the shamrock shake came about

In 1967, McDonald’s owner and operator Hal Rosen invented the shamrock shake to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day. It wasn’t placed on the menu until 1970 and was met with tremendous feedback. From that point on, the frosty green drink became an annual favorite among customers. This drink is definitely a treat as a small-sized portion from the restaurant contains a whopping 500 calories. Luckily, you can make a feel-good version at home that’s just as creamy and tasty as the fast food kind.

Nutritionist’s secret to a low-calorie creamy shake

Ice cream traditionally gives this shake its thick consistency, but it’s the source of many calories. The good news: Ripe bananas naturally sweetens the drink and creates the perfect texture. “Banana and tahini [sesame paste] create the creaminess, along with unsweetened plant-based milk, instead of ice cream,” Nichole Dandrea-Russert, MS, RDN, lead dietitian at Food Revolution Network, says. A medium banana contains 105 calories and 3 grams of fiber, which go long way for keeping you full and promoting weight loss.

Additionally, freezing the bananas before blending this shake allows it to form a frosty, milkshake-like consistency. Simply slice the bananas, lay them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze for 2 to 3 hours or until solid. Then, they’re ready to incorporate into a shake that Dandrea-Russert promises “will get you into the festive St. Patrick’s Day spirit while nourishing your body and your mind.”

A delicious shamrock shake recipe

Below, you can find Dandrea-Russert’s recipe for a Healthy Shamrock Shake. This shake gets its vibrant green color from nutrient-rich spinach, while peppermint extract infuses it with a minty flavor. The dairy-free original recipe calls for plant-based milk like almond or oat varieties, but you can substitute it with dairy milk instead. Plus, you can top the shake with fat-free whipped cream for an extra touch of creaminess without overloading the drink with calories.

Healthy Shamrock Shake

Healthy shamrock shake recipe
courtesy of Angela MacNeil Photography


  • 2 cups unsweetened plant-based or dairy milk
  • 2 medium bananas, sliced and frozen
  • ¼ to ½ tsp. peppermint extract (depending on how minty you want the flavor)
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, washed and patted dry
  • 2 Tbs. chia seeds
  • 1 + 2 Tbs. tahini sesame paste, optional
  • 2 Tbs. shaved dark chocolate


  • Yield: 2 servings
  1. Place milk, banana, peppermint extract, spinach, tahini or nutter butter (if using) and chia seeds in blender. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  2. Divide between two glasses and top with shaved dark chocolate.
    Note: Store any leftover liquid into an airtight container or jar in the fridge for up to 3 days.

3 more optional swaps from Dandrea-Russert:

  1. Use cacao nibs in place of shaved dark chocolate for a more intense chocolate flavor.
  2. Swap tahini for almond butter or diced avocado if you don’t have it on hand.
  3. Substitute spinach for baby kale to provide a boost of vitamin K, which is essential for bone health and reducing heart disease risk.

For more delicious and nutritious sips, check out these smoothie recipes!

The Delicious Heavy Metal Detox Smoothie That’s Freeing Women From the Toxins That Make It Impossible to Lose Weight

Kefir Smoothies For Weight Loss: 3 Delicious and Nutritious Recipes

A Nutritionist Reveals the Single Best Thing You Can Do for Your Smoothie If You Want to Lose Weight

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