~ St. Patrick’s Day really can be both fun and healthy! (Which is definitely a stroke of Irish luck!) It truly doesn’t have to be all about fatty corned beef and drive-thru Shamrock Shakes. Just take a peek at our delicious, healthy St. Patrick’s Day recipes and sneaky health-ification tips, and see what we mean! ~
We could all use a little Luck o’ the Irish … even if we’re not technically Irish, right?!? And, whether you can trace your roots back to that Emerald Isle or not, St. Patrick’s Day is really just a terrific excuse for a celebration.
I mean, you guys know that my family is alllll about capitalizing on any excuse for a little par-tay! And that’s definitely true on St. Patrick’s Day. I mean … shamrocks, pots of gold, lucky rainbows and green everything … sounds like a perfect excuse for a party to us!
So, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised to realize that – over the years that we’ve had this blog – we’ve posted quite a few fun (and, of course, healthy) St. Patrick’s Day recipes. From breakfast to lunch, snacks and even dessert – we’ve got lots of ideas to help make the day a little more festive, a little bit more of a celebration.
Some of the recipes – like our Rainbow Breakfast and our Pot o’ Gold Applesauce are purely whimsical. Meant to brighten your kids’ day with a bit of leprechaun magic.
Others are healthier upgrades to classic St. Patrick’s Day foods – like our Healthier Shamrock Shake and our Healthy Reuben Dip (because no little leprechaun wants to burst out of his belt with too many extra calories)!
So you can actually feel good about joining in the Irish fun this year, without compromising your healthy eating goals! (How lucky is that?!?)
Fun and Healthy St. Patrick's Day Recipes
Oh yeah! Get your Irish goin' on ... these Healthy St. Patrick's Day recipes are lots of fun, without all the guilt! There are sure gonna be some happy leprechauns this year!
Swap potatoes in for nacho chips ... then pile 'em high with all the ingredients of the ever-popular reuben sandwich! Easy to make and seriously delicious (with healthy tweaks all along the way)! A fun appetizer everyone will love!
Surprise your kids with this adorable, healthy St. Patrick's Day snack! It's really quick and easy – and so healthy, too! The natural sweetness comes from a surprising (golden!) mix-in your kids will love
... and you’ll love how nutritious it is!
Don't even bother with all the fake ingredients stuffed into those drive-thru shakes! These healthy Shamrock Shakes are crazy-delicious ... with a surprise secret ingredient you simply won't believe until you taste these for yourself! They're 100% tried and true ... and absolutely kid-approved!
Start the St. Patrick's Day fun first thing in the morning with a lucky pot of leprechaun gold! Adorable AND healthy ... and honestly easy to make, too (we've got tips and options for ya)!
This luck-o-the-Irish St. Patrick’s Day appetizer combines creamy Greek yogurt with avocado, plus a simple “ranch” spice combo. Surround it with fresh green veggies … and watch it disappear!
Want to really make your green veggie dips extra special? Serve them with these EASY and fun Shamrock Veggie Skewers! (And don't worry ... we've got 2 simple ideas for creating those cute shamrocks.)
While we're making those veggies-and-dip party platters extra Irish-y and fun, here's another idea to try. You could do these instead of the Shamrock Veggies above, or mix in some of both on your appetizer tray! Great idea for an after-school-snack, too!
One more green dip idea that's perfect for snacking or as a super-easy St. Patrick's Day appetizer. Just throw everything in the food processor and give it a whir!
Lots of options here! You can make this healthy St. Patrick’s Day appetizer in your oven, the slow cooker (to keep warm at parties), or the microwave. It can even be made ahead of time! And although it’s sooooo much healthier, it’s still deliciously rich and creamy! No one can ever taste the difference – it’s a proven crowd favorite, every time we serve it!
If you're the type of person who loves to do rainbow themes for St. Patrick's Day food, instead of going all-green ... then you'll love our healthier spin on classic Jell-O Salad! It's high in protein, thanks to our secret Greek yogurt swap ... but no one will ever guess how much healthier it is (even the pickiest little leprechauns)!
Delicious with tortilla chips! Here's another idea for all of you who like to do "lucky" rainbow foods for St. Paddy's. Featuring a rainbow of colorful peppers, plus black beans and fresh cilantro – this is so fresh and vibrant, and perfect for rainbow-themed parties or St. Patrick's Day snacking!
Ingenious Tips and Swaps for All Your St. Patrick’s Day Recipes
So many great ideas, huh?!? We’ve had such fun over the years, creating and sharing our St. Patrick’s Day recipes with you!
But what can you do about other St. Patrick’s Day recipes you might want to make? Some of those traditional foods just aren’t very healthy … but can they be improved upon a little, while still keeping their festive flair?
Not to worry! We’ve got ideas there, too!
So let’s go beyond all our THK-favorite St. Paddy’s recipes, and talk about some tips you can use for making other traditional St. Patrick’s Day foods a little bit healthier. No doubt, you don’t really need luck to have a healthy St. Patrick’s Day celebration … just a few creative ideas and simple swaps to make everything a bit more nutritious!
Check out these THK-style “health-ification” tips for planning your St. Patrick’s Day food extravaganza:
If you want to go the traditional corned beef route, consider using a moderate amount of deli-style, sliced LEAN corned beef on a reuben (or in our reuben recipes) … instead of a big hunk o’ corned beef brisket. While those extra-lean deli slices should weigh in at just a gram or so of fat per ounce, a brisket is often about three or four times that. Wow, right?!? A quick peek at the fat grams on that brisket can be a real eye opener!
Better yet, if you’re thinking Reubens, consider swapping in turkey instead of corned beef. Technically, a turkey Reuben is usually called a Rachel, and technically, it’s not quite so traditionally St. Patrick’s Day-ish … but your arteries just might thank you later. 😉
Healthy Homemade Reuben Dressing
And while we’re talking Reubens, ditch the bottled dressing and whip up the homemade dressing we use on our Reuben Nachos instead. It’s absolutely delicious on Reuben sandwiches, too – and so much healthier!
If you just have to go the corned beef brisket route (so traditional – I get it!), you can still make it a bit healthier by using proportionally less meat and more veggies (especially cabbage and carrots that are absolutely loaded with vitamins and disease-combatting phytonutrients). The same goes for Irish stew recipes. Try dialing back the amount of meat the recipes calls for – even just a little – and adding in a few more of the nutritious veggies. Small changes can really add up!
Even More Veggies (and Fruit)!
Actually, you can easily capitalize on the “green” and “rainbow” themes of St. Patrick’s Day in lots of ways that highlight nutritious produce.
If you have kids, then organizing colorful fruits and veggies into rainbow-anything is a slam-dunk (like we did in our Rainbow Veggie Kabobs and Fruit Rainbow Breakfast).
Even more fun? Some shamrock-shaped cookie cutters turn all sorts of healthy things – from whole grain bread to produce – into instant, leprechaun-approved party food!
McDonald’s Shamrock Shakes
Yikes. I feel like they’re such a sign of spring and so very traditional (at least, here in America), but they’re also just not really good for you. Like, at all.
I’d even go so far as to admit that I don’t really think they taste that great, either. What’s with the weird aftertaste? Oh right. All those “fake” ingredients.
So, ummmmm … I’d vote you keep driving right on past that beckoning drive-thru, and make your own (with our yummy, kid-approved Shamrock Shake recipe, of course 😉 )! Try it and see! I 100% bet that you’ll be seriously surprised how fantastic our shakes taste. (And I bet you won’t be surprised how much better you feel about slurping on one!)
Now that’s some true Irish luck … healthy St. Patrick’s Day recipes that still taste amazing, too!
Work a couple of these recipes and health-ification techniques into your St. Patrick’s Day celebration this year, and you’ll have all your leprechauns cheering (guilt-free)!