Shamrock Shake

This Shamrock Shake is a copycat of McDonald’s cold minty shake, except better!  Our version is made with real ice cream, which makes all the difference.  These are only available at McDonalds around St. Patricks Day, but you can make our version year round!

Shamrock Shake like McDonalds

It’s that time of year when everyone heads for the McDonald’s drive thru window to get their Shamrock Shake.  I am a fan of the Shamrock Shake, but it is a little pricey when buying for the whole family so I thought I would give making one at home a try.

I also wanted to try making the shake with a few less calories.  The McDonald’s small shake has 530 calories!  That’s a lot of calories to dedicate to a treat!  For my experiment, I went to the grocery store and purchased low-fat vanilla ice cream (Dreyer’s Slow Churned), fat free milk, mint and peppermint extracts, and green food coloring.  I then found some very willing volunteers to be my taste-testers – my husband and two teenage sons.  I made up my first batch with mint extract and had my testers try my recipe and then the McDonald’s shake.  All three were thumbs down on my recipe.  It wasn’t sweet enough and they thought it tasted like medicine. They then downed the McDonald’s shake.  It was off to McDonald’s for another shake and another attempt.  This time I added peppermint extract and a little bit of sugar (1/4 cup) to the ice cream and milk.  It was a hit!  In fact, all three taste-testers preferred this homemade recipe over the Shamrock Shake from McDonald’s.  The best part of this story is that this recipe is only 230 calories for a 12 oz serving.  How lucky is that!

If you aren’t concerned about the calories, just substitute regular vanilla ice cream.  You will find that it tastes so much better made with good quality, real ice cream!

Shamrock Shake

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  • 2 1/2 cups low-fat vanilla ice cream
  • 1/2 cup fat free milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1/4 tsp green food coloring
  • Optional toppings: Whipped cream, sprinkles, chocolate mint, maraschino cherry


  • Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth in consistency.
  • Top with whipped cream and sprinkles, a chocolate mint, or a maraschino cherry.


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