This post contains links through which we may earn a small commission should you make a purchase from a brand. This in no way affects our ability to objectively critique the products and brands we review.
Evidence Based Research To fulfill our commitment to bringing our audience accurate and insightful content, our expert writers and medical reviewers rely on carefully curated research.
Read Our Editorial Policy
How to Make a Healthy Peppermint Milkshake
Our copycat Chick-fil-A peppermint milkshake contains healthier ingredients, much less sugar, and loads of protein—you can even eat it for breakfast!
While you can certainly make a dairy-free peppermint milkshake, we opted for real dairy in this recipe to boost the protein content and make it creamier.
To make this peppermint milkshake, we used a Ninja Creami ice cream maker to create that perfect soft-serve-like texture.
With the Ninja Creami, there are a few simple steps—although the hardest part is waiting 24 hours while it freezes. For more details on how to use the Ninja Creami, read the detailed recipe card instructions.
However, if you don’t have an ice cream maker, you could add all of the ingredients (minus peppermint hard candies) to a blender and blend until smooth. Then, mix in the crushed peppermint candy (or crushed candy cane) before serving. If you want to make it extra special, add a dollop of whipped cream on top!
What Is in the Chick-fil-A Peppermint Milkshake?
Available from mid-November to the beginning of January, the Chick-fil-A Peppermint Milkshake is a seasonal staple at the popular fast food chain best known for its chicken sandwiches.
But when the holidays roll around, this peppermint-flavored milkshake is a top seller. Made with vanilla ice cream (“Chick-fil-A Icedream®”) mixed with peppermint bark chips and topped with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry, it doesn’t sound all that bad.
However, the ingredient list tells a different story—it’s not all that wholesome (not even the cherry is simply a cherry!). Here’s what you’ll find in the Chick-fil-A Peppermint Chip Milkshake:
- Milkshake base: Whole milk, sugar, nonfat milk, milkfat, cream, whey powder, nonfat dry milk, water, natural and artificial flavor, mono and diglycerides, guar gum, carrageenan, brown sugar, cellulose gum, salt, tetrasodium pyrophosphate, corn starch, calcium sulfate, caramel color, beta carotene, annatto, and sodium phosphate
- Peppermint syrup: Corn syrup, water, glycerin, vegetable juice (for color), citric acid, natural peppermint flavor, and sodium benzoate as a preservative
- Whipped cream: Cream, milk, sugar, sorbitol, mono and diglycerides, natural flavor, carrageenan, and nitrous oxide (as a whipping propellant)
- Peppermint bark chips: Sugar, corn syrup, natural peppermint oil, red #40, confectionery coating (sugar, hydrogenated palm kernel oil, cocoa [may be processed with alkali]), whey powder, soy lecithin, vanilla, powdered sugar (sugar, corn starch), corn starch, and silicon dioxide
- Cherry: Cherries, water, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, natural and artificial flavor, sulfur dioxide (preservative), FD and C red #40, citric acid, and malic acid
The Chick-fil-A Peppermint Milkshake contains:
- 670 calories
- 23 grams of fat
- 109 grams of carbohydrates
- 94 grams of sugar
- 11 grams of protein
We can do better than that, can’t we?
Healthier Chick-fil-A Peppermint Milkshake Ingredients
At 413 calories and 20 grams of sugar per serving, our more nutritious peppermint milkshake has two-thirds of the calories and one-fifth of the sugar as the Chick-fil-A version—keep reading to see what we used:
- Fairlife Core Power Elite Vanilla: One of the ways we like to make our peppermint milkshakes healthier is by packing in the protein—and Fairlife Core Power Elite is a great way to do so. With 42 grams of protein in this little shake, you’ll add delicious vanilla flavor alongside beneficial nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin A. Plus, this vanilla protein shake has zero added sugar.
- Cream Cheese: This may sound weird in a milkshake, but a little goes a long way. We added one tablespoon of cream cheese to add a mild tanginess and make this milkshake silky smooth. (This is what cream cheese does in delicious baked goods like red velvet cake or cheesecake, by the way!)
- Heavy Cream: While dairy-free milkshakes can be delicious, regular cream adds a hard-to-beat texture. As this recipe does contain quite a bit of heavy cream (½ cup), we’d recommend splitting this milkshake into two servings—yay, dessert for tomorrow!
- Vanilla and Peppermint Extract: Extracts are an excellent way to add concentrated flavor—and vanilla and peppermint extract are no exception. While vanilla extract imparts a warm, cozy flavor and aroma, peppermint extract is cooling, refreshing, and slightly sweet. While this milkshake will still be delicious without the extracts, we highly recommend them for the best flavor.
- Crushed Peppermint Hard Candies: As we only use three crushed peppermint hard candies in this two-serving milkshake, feel free to use any you like—you can even use crushed candy canes. However, try YumEarth Organic Peppermint Hard Candy to make this recipe even healthier, as it does not use red food coloring, artificial flavor, or artificial sweeteners. While they don’t have the famous red and white striped color, you’ll get the same peppermint flavor with only three ingredients (organic cane sugar, organic brown rice syrup, and organic natural flavor).
- Maple Syrup: As we cut back on sweetness by using a vanilla protein shake instead of soft serve and peppermint syrup, we added a bit back in with two tablespoons of maple syrup. If you want to cut the sugar even more, try the monk-fruit-based maple syrup from Lakanto.
- Oat Milk: This optional ingredient is used if your mixture gets too thick and crumbly when using the Ninja Creami. Although there is plenty of liquid to start with, the 24-hour freeze may mean you need to introduce more milk to get it going again to get to your desired consistency.
Chick-fil-A Peppermint Milkshake Recipe
- 1 bottle of Fairlife Core Power Elite Vanilla 42g
- 1 tbsp cream cheese
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- ⅛ tsp peppermint extract
- 3 Crushed Peppermint Hard Candies
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- Oat Milk
In a bowl, whisk together all ingredients and pour into a Ninja Creami pint.
Freeze mixture for 24 hours
After 24 hours, take out the pint container from the freezer. Position the pint container inside the external bowl of the Ninja Creami and initiate the "LITE ICE CREAM" setting.
If the ice cream appears dry or crumbly, introduce one or two tablespoons of oat milk and reprocess. It might be necessary to repeat this step several times.
Create a depression in the center of the ice cream and add the crushed candy pieces. Activate the mix-ins function.
Retrieve the pint from the machine and savor your creation!
Chick-fil-A Peppermint Milkshake FAQs
How Does Chick-fil-A Make Their Milkshakes?
Chick-fil-A uses a blend of soft-serve ice cream and whole milk to make their milkshakes. For their peppermint chip milkshake, they blend their milkshake base, peppermint syrup, and peppermint bark chips and top it with whipped cream.
Here are the complete ingredients for the Chick-fil-A milkshake base:
Milkshake base: whole milk, sugar, nonfat milk, milkfat, cream, whey powder, nonfat dry milk, water, natural and artificial flavor, mono and diglycerides, guar gum, carrageenan, brown sugar, cellulose gum, salt, tetrasodium pyrophosphate, corn starch, calcium sulfate, caramel color, beta carotene, annatto, sodium phosphate.
Does the Chick-fil-A Peppermint Milkshake Have Chocolate In It?
The Chick-fil-A peppermint shake is not made with chocolate, but the peppermint chips contain cocoa in a small amount. However, there are no whole chocolate chips or chocolate syrup. This milkshake has a base of vanilla ice cream (their signature Icedream®) mixed with peppermint bark chips and topped with whipped cream and cherries.
Is the Chick-fil-A Peppermint Milkshake Healthy?
No, our nutrition team would not say that the Chick-fil-A Peppermint Milkshake is healthy. With almost 700 calories and 100 grams of sugar, this milkshake is more than just a sweet treat—it’s more than one-third of the average recommended daily calorie intake and triple the recommended added sugar consumption. It also has not-so-healthy ingredients, like red food coloring, high-fructose corn syrup, and artificial flavors.