A traumatic McDonald’s episode has convinced me that some cherished childhood experiences are best left as pristine memories. Shamrock Shake, never speak to me again. I’ve got this Mint Smoothie now.

Skinny Shamrock Shake made with frozen bananas, avocado and mint. This healthy mint smoothie tastes just like the McDonald's shamrock shake, without the guilt. Vegan and gluten free!

I spent the first 18 Februaries of my life anticipating the Shamrock Shake’s annual arrival. Its glorious return meant more to me than simply the chance to slurp my favorite frosty mint beverage—it heralded the coming of spring, placing me one season closer to summer vacation. I could mentally organize my February timeline as “Pre-Shamrock Shake” and “Post-Shamrock Shake.”

Once I hit college, I stopped making my annual Shamrock Shake pilgrimage, first because I didn’t have a car, then later because I moved to Wisconsin, where I developed a penchant for frozen custard. Then on Sunday, after spending most of our weekend working, Ben and I decided that a pair of milkshakes was in order.

He went for chocolate; I giddily ordered that great companion of my youth, the heralder of spring, The Shamrock Shake. I took a long, much anticipated sip and…

Skinny Shamrock Shake. A healthy avocado mint smoothie that tastes just like a McDonald's Shamrock Shake. All natural, gluten free, and vegan

Mint smoothies that taste just like a copycat Shamrock Shake! Made with frozen bananas, avocado and mint. Vegan and gluten free

What did McDonald’s do to my Shamrock Shake? It had a decidedly funky off-flavor that I could only haphazardly identify as lime, and I really think that they’ve added radioactive material. Has it always been so alarmingly bright? Worse, is this what it tasted like when I was younger? I sat reflectively in the plastic booth, eating the whipped cream off the top with my straw and wondering which had really changed—the Shamrock Shake or I.

I miss the Shamrock Shake terribly—not the current faux-mint monstrosity, but the perfect, refreshing Shamrock Shake of my youth. I can only imagine how disillusioned I’d feel if I walked into a Chuck E. Cheese.

Skinny Shamrock Shake made with frozen bananas, avocado and mint. This healthy mint smoothie tastes just like the McDonald's shamrock shake, without the guilt. Vegan, paleo, and gluten free

The Best Healthy Shamrock Shake Recipe

Rather than accept defeat, I set out to make my own version of a healthy Shamrock Shake I could feel good enjoying at home. The result is a rich, thick, and refreshing mint smoothie that is completely natural, something I feel even better about after reading over the McDonald’s ingredient list.

This mint smoothie’s gorgeous green hue comes completely from its ingredients—avocado, spinach, and a heap of fresh mint leaves—and the sweetness and thickness I owe to frozen slices of overripe banana. (Did you know that if you whip up only frozen bananas, they taste astonishingly like vanilla ice cream? It’s marvelous!)

Avocado adds a creaminess boost too, and it’s one of my favorite ingredients to include in green smoothies (like in this Blueberry Banana Avocado Smoothie and this Cleansing Apple Avocado Smoothie!).

A healthy mint smoothie made with avocado and spinach that tastes just like the McDonald's Shamrock Shake

Mint Smoothie Make Ahead and Storage Tips

  • To Make Ahead. Prepare the smoothie as directed, then store it in an airtight freezer-safe storage jar for up to 3 months. Let the smoothie thaw before serving.
  • To Store. Smoothies can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.

More Delicious Smoothie Recipes

Skinny Shamrock Shakes made with frozen bananas, avocado, and fresh mint. Enjoy this healthy mint smoothie for dessert or after a work out! Vegan and gluten free

Although this mint smoothie does not taste identical to the Shamrock Shake of my childhood, it is undeniably scrumptious and will be good to your body too. Plus, after sampling our current Shamrock Shake alternative, I’m delighted to have this mint smoothie recipe in my repertoire to signal winter’s impending defeat.

Skinny Shamrock Shake made with frozen bananas, avocado and mint. This healthy mint smoothie tastes just like the McDonald's shamrock shake, without the guilt. Vegan, paleo, and gluten free

Healthy Shamrock Shake {Avocado Mint Smoothie}

4.7 from 10 votes
A healthy mint smoothie inspired by the McDonald's Shamrock Shake. Thick, creamy, and made with only natural ingredients.

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 5 mins

Servings: 1 large shake

Ingredients
  

  • 2 large bananas cut up and frozen
  • 1 cup firmly packed fresh spinach leaves
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 medium avocado
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed fresh mint leaves, about 25 leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
  • Sweetener of choice: 1 packet stevia or Truvia or 1 to 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • Whipped cream optional for serving
  • Shaved dark chocolate optional for serving

Instructions
 

  • Place all of the ingredients (except the optional whipped cream and chocolate) into your blender and puree until combined.
  • Taste to adjust sweetener as desired. Enjoy immediately, topped with whipped cream and chocolate as desired.

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. Just made this Shamrock Shake for a March treat. It’s creamy, minty, and much tastier and satisfying than it’s commercial counterpart ;) Thanks again, Erin, for these healthy, yummy recipes!

    1. Teresa, I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed this shamrock shake as much as I did. Thanks so much trying it and letting me know!

  2. I think this is even better considering that all the ingredients are all natural, and at the same time you enjoy doing it. I can’t wait to have this ! 

    1. Thanks so much Lenny! I actually just made it for myself again yesterday, and it was as wonderful as I remembered. I hope you enjoy it too!

  3. Erin, this was absolutely delicious!! Thank you for the recipe. Nick, my husband, and I were able to enjoy this shake in celebration of St. Patty’s Day yesterday with close friends, and then again this morning! It has a wonderful minty fresh flavor and we love that it is full of beneficial nutrients.  ❤️❤️❤️☘☘☘5 stars

    1. YAY Tracy! I’m so excited to hear that you enjoyed the smoothie. Thank you so much for taking the time to report back!

  4. I made modifications based on the need for low-oxyates for kidney stones. Replaced spinach with kale; replaced avocado with 1/2 cup coconut or Greek yogurt. Absolutely delicious!!!5 stars

    1. Kathy, I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the smoothie! Thank you for sharing your tweaks and for taking the time to leave this nice review!

  5. This smoothie was delicious! My elderly dad said, “it tasted good” which coming from him is high praise. I made it using 2 tablespoons of dried mint leaves (I didn’t have any fresh leaves). I ate my leftover portion the next day using a spoon as it had thickened, it was like a yummy mint smoothie pudding. Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipes. I’m looking forward to trying another one.5 stars

  6. UNREAL!!! Just made this in my Vitamix…better than McD’s Shamrock Shake. I made a few changes as i didn’t have some ingredients. I skipped the avocado, peppermint extract (didn’t have any on hand), sweetener, whipped cream and chocolate. I did add 1 tsp ground flax. I’m addicted!! Thanks for sharing Erin :)5 stars

  7. FABULOUS!!! We divided this into two portions to cut on guilt. We also used beet leaves instead, it’s what we had.This will be a regular in our guilty pleasure. I can’t wait to try some more of your delicious healthy ideas.5 stars

  8. I had a similar thing happen to me with the smoothies they used to have at Costco. I tried it after months of almost nothing but whole foods, and it tasted like chemicals.

    I didn’t have any Peppmint extract, but I used 1 1/2 cups packed spearmint, so it still had plenty of mint taste. I forgot about it using avocado, so I used chia seeds (my usual go-to) instead, and used dates instead of maple to sweeten it. I also added in some zucchini for volume, since we had this as our breakfast. It was delicious! It needed a little more dates than I had expected, but that probably had to do with the increased veggies.5 stars

  9. I wasn’t crazy about this – I think maybe it was the fresh mint that I used? The smell of that was overpowering by itself. And it was too thick and had too much banana.

    I did end up making a variation that’s okay. Not sure what it needs still…
    I reduced the banana to 1, added some plain Greek yogurt, omitted the mint leaves (just used the extract for the mint flavor), and omitted the sweetener.3 stars

  10. I didnt have frozen bananas so used regular and added ice cubes and half a cup of light vanilla yogurt to thicken up. It was creamy and delicious. My 4 and 9 yr old loved it too.5 stars

  11. We tried, the texture was Airy smooth like mousse. We used all the ingredients exactly and fresh. We even doubled the almond milk to make it drinkable however it was still thick. It was avacado strong. However we will not be making again I can say it was okay.4 stars

    1. Hi Tammy, I’m sorry this recipe wasn’t to your liking. Myself (and others) enjoy this recipe, so I really wish it would of been a hit for you too!

    1. Hi Rochelle! Nutritional information is something I started adding to recipes in January 2016. Unfortunately, it’s a time-consuming process, so I’m unable to go back to all my past recipes to add it. The good news is that you can calculate the calories for free at MyFitnessPal (there are other similar sites too). I hope that can be a helpful resource for you!

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