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Homemade Shamrock Shake

This quick and easy Homemade Shamrock Shake is made with just a few simple ingredients, is gorgeously green and has all of the creamy, minty vanilla deliciousness of the original!

If you like to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a McDonald’s Shamrock Shake, you’ve got to try this super yummy copycat version that you can whip up in just 5 minutes right in your own kitchen!

Yep, just 5 minutes. That’s even faster than getting in the car and going to the drive-thru.

Plus, you really only need 4 ingredients to make one (toppings are optional…but they sure do make it look so much more pretty and festive!).

And honestly, although I will always love the original, I think this homemade version is even better. It’s not overly sweet, it has the perfect blend of vanilla and mint, and it tastes more fresh and real.

The big bonus? Once you learn how to make a Shamrock Shake at home, you won’t have to wait for another whole year for them to become available again in order to enjoy one. You can blend one up any time you want!

So let’s get right to it!

Ingredients You Need

all of the ingredients needed, with labels, to make a homemade shamrock shake

The Must-Haves

  • Half-and-half – found in the dairy aisle, this is a combination of equal parts whole milk and cream; it makes the shake creamier (but you could use whole milk instead)
  • Vanilla ice cream – I use regular vanilla instead of vanilla bean in this recipe for a more classic flavor
  • Pure mint extract – not peppermint extract, as it will give you a different flavor than what you’re looking for here
  • Green food coloring – I use McCormick liquid food coloring

The Optional-But-Really-Nice-To-Have Toppings

  • Whipped cream (for convenience and quickness, I usually go with good-ol’ whipped cream in a can, but you could make homemade whipped cream if you’d like)
  • Green jimmies/sprinkles
  • Maraschino cherry

Note: Ingredient amounts are in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

Special Equipment Needed

  • Blender

How to Make a Homemade Shamrock Shake

half-and-half, vanilla ice cream, mint extract and green food coloring in a blender

Put the half-and-half, vanilla ice cream, mint extract, and green food coloring in the blender.

the blended shamrock shake in the blender

Blend on low speed until smooth.

homemade shamrock shake in a tall glass without any toppings

Pour into a tall glass.

homemade shamrock shake in a tall glass topped with whipped cream, green sprinkles and a maraschino cherry and text that says enjoy

Top with whipped cream, green jimmies/sprinkles, and a maraschino cherry. Enjoy!

Note: This is just a brief overview of the steps. For the full printable recipe with ingredient amounts and detailed instructions, please scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

Recipe Tips & Tidbits

  • Since the vanilla ice cream is the main component of this milkshake, be sure to use a high-quality ice cream that has really good flavor. If I happen to have some of my homemade no-churn vanilla ice cream on hand, I’ll use that for sure!
  • For this recipe, I use regular vanilla or even French vanilla ice cream instead of vanilla bean because I think it gives the shake that more classic flavor. But use whichever you prefer.
  • Add as little or as much food coloring as you need to get the green color you want (the amount can differ depending on the type and brand of food coloring that you use). Always start with less because you can add more, but you can’t take any away if you add too much.
  • You can adjust the amount of mint extract to suit your own personal tastes. 1/4 teaspoon gives you a subtle and not overpowering mint flavor.
  • If your shake is too thick, add a little more milk. If it’s too thin, add a little more ice cream.
  • Milkshakes are best when made and served immediately, and this one is no different. And since it only takes 5 minutes to make, there’s really no need to make it ahead.
homemade shamrock shake in a tall glass with a straw and topped with whipped cream, green sprinkles and a maraschino cherry

Substitutions & Variations

  • If you don’t have any half-and-half on hand or if you’d like to reduce the calories just a bit, you can use whole milk instead. You could even use a lower-fat milk, but just know that less fat equals less creamy.
  • Try using mint chocolate chip ice cream instead of vanilla (you might want to reduce or omit the mint extract and/or the food coloring).
  • For a chocolate version, use chocolate ice cream and omit the food coloring.
  • Not into dairy? Try making the shake with non-dairy versions of ice cream, milk and whipped cream.
  • If you’re not into using food coloring, you can leave it out. The shake won’t be green, but that awesome minty vanilla flavor will still be all there!

This recipe makes one tall shake, about 14 ounces. It’s definitely indulgent, so if that’s too much for you or if you’re watching your calories, you can halve the recipe. Or do what I often do: make the whole recipe, divide it into two smaller servings and share it with someone!

I hope you try this Homemade Shamrock Shake recipe and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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More Cold Drink Recipes To Try

If you try this recipe, I’d love to know how it went! Please leave a star rating and comment below. Thanks!

homemade shamrock shake in a glas with a straw and topped with whipped cream, green sprinkles and a maraschino cherry

Homemade Shamrock Shake

This quick and easy Homemade Shamrock Shake is made with just a few simple ingredients, is gorgeously green and has all of the creamy, minty vanilla deliciousness of the original!
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Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 tall shake (about 14 ounces)
Estimated Calories: 700

Ingredients

  • ½ cup half-and-half
  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream
  • ¼ teaspoon pure mint extract, not peppermint extract
  • 10 drops green food coloring

Optional Toppings

  • whipped cream
  • green jimmies/sprinkles
  • maraschino cherry

Special Equipment

  • Blender

Instructions

  • Place the half-and-half, vanilla ice cream, mint extract, and green food coloring in the blender.
  • Blend on low speed until smooth.
    If it's too thick, add a little more milk. If it's too thin, add a little more ice cream.
  • Pour into a tall glass.
  • Optional (but highly recommended): Top with whipped cream, green jimmies/sprinkles, and a maraschino cherry.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!

Notes

  • Half-and-half makes the shake creamier. If needed, you can make your own by combining ¼ cup heavy cream and ¼ cup whole milk.
  • You can use all whole milk instead of half-and-half if you’d rather.
  • Use a high-quality vanilla ice cream that has really good flavor. I use regular vanilla rather than vanilla bean for a more classic flavor, but use whichever you prefer.
  • Feel free to adjust the amount of mint extract to suit your own tastes and the amount of green food coloring to get the exact color you want. 
  • If this serving size is too much for you or if you’re watching your calories, you can halve the recipe. Or do what I often do: make the whole recipe, divide it into two smaller servings and share it with someone!
  • Estimated calories shown are for the shake only and do not include any of the optional toppings.
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it!Share it on Instagram, tag @nowcookthis and use the hashtag #nowcookthisrecipes. Thanks!
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