Have you ever wondered where all the St. Patrick’s Day festivities earned their green theme? Beyond shamrocks and leprechaun suits, the actual holiday is a festive Christian feast set forth to celebrate the patron saint of the Emerald Isle. And what better way to evoke the feeling of rolling green pastures and a glimmering green gem than to imbibe your greens — and we don’t just mean dark leafy greens like kale and collards.
OK, we'll be honest. Some vegetables did sneak their way onto this list. After all, some of the best Irish recipes involve green cabbage, chives and leeks. But beyond nutrient-rich ingredients, we have plenty of holiday-worthy recipes that guarantee good luck and an even better time. From large parties to cozy dinners at home to bar hopping, these sweet treats and salty snacks will fuel the fun!
Many of these snacks are great crowd-pleasers whether you’re hosting or attending a party, sending snacks to school for the kids or bringing treats in for work. Bonus: they're also easy to make. Year-round green-colored favorites like guacamole and goddess dip, as well as small plates of tried-and-true Irish recipes make up our roundup of savory snacks. And for the sweets: Everything from shamrock-shaped cupcakes to matcha cookies to a DIY Shamrock Shake make an appearance (no trip to the takeout window needed). A glimmer of gold is that many of the recipes can be made ahead, so you can spend more time perfecting your pour.
So get your festive leprechaun chef’s hat on and prepare some of the best green snacks for St. Patrick’s Day.
Al Roker's daughter Courtney dresses up this party-favorite snack with a creamy, dreamy avocado-based filling.
Similar to a crab cake, these green patties are made with a blend of blanched greens, such as spinach, parsley and kale. They're pan-fried and so crispy on the outside, but still deliciously tender on the inside. Consider serving them with a yogurt-, tomato- or mayonnaise-based sauce to jazz them up.
This three-ingredient snack is undeniably Irish. Crispy bacon is chopped and crumbled over roasted cabbage for a salty, savory crunch. It's a little bite that serves as a great app or snack between meals.
These salty, crispy, bites are just plain delicious. They're also wildly easy to make — all you need are dill pickle spheres, havarti cheese, store-bought egg roll wrappers and oil for frying. Other cheeses will certainly work but havarti is truly the best flavor pairing with the pickles.
Our take on the classic French soup happens all in one pot, allowing for minimal mess and super easy cleanup. It gets its velvety, creamy texture from boiled potatoes and a touch of butter.
This salad simply says spring. In each bite, you'll get delicately shaved asparagus, fresh fennel and peppery arugula. A tangy, juicy orange vinaigrette adds an extra pop of brightness to this crunchy and satisfying starter or snack.
Serve this vibrant green dip as a party snack with store-bought or homemade tortilla chips or vegetable crudités.
Whether you're feeling under the weather or are simply sick of the cold, this nourishing recipe is so cozy. It's made with a combination of apples, broccoli florets, spinach and vegetable broth. Serve it as a starter prior to a fish and chips entrée.
These three-ingredient appetizers truly could not be easier to assemble. Smear cream cheese on a slice of corned beef, then place a dill pickle spears in the middle. Roll it up and enjoy the contrast of the cool creamy cheese, rich meat and briny pickle.
These crispy, crunchy chips are great way to eat a powerhouse veggie. Make a big bowl or platter for a salty snack at your St. Patty's party.
A go-to party dish! Filled with delicious herbs, this ever-popular dip is bright and tangy, thanks to the combination of greens like chives, tarragon, spinach and parsley. You can serve it with crudité or chips, spread it on a sandwich or drizzle it over salad.
The very best guacamole has the perfect ratio of creamy avocado, a little bit of heat and zesty citrus juice. Want to take it to the next level? Add finely chopped pickles and hot pickle brine to the mix.
The crunchy hot exterior and the tart tang of the interior makes this salty snack a sure-fire hit. The dip is smoky and rich and goes so well with the chips for the ultimate party food.
Sweet snacks and treats
Guinness beer is the missing ingredient you never knew your brownies needed — but an obvious inclusion for a St. Patrick's Day dessert. The Irish stout ensures they're moist and deeply flavorful.
Skip the stout and enjoy a festive boozy milkshake. Crème de menthe helps to develop a delicious minty flavor. A topping of whipped cream and sprinkles add the finishing touch to this fun grown-up treat.
Use tin foil as a hack to make adorable clover-shaped cupcakes. You can make it with homemade cake batter or keep things simple and use store-bought. A drop or two of green food coloring, and this sweet is ready to please!
Chocolate bark is always popular during the holiday season. Since everyone loves it so much, Checka Ciammaichelli developed this so very festive version for St. Patrick's Day complete with green tinted white chocolate, green M&M's and peppermint-infused chocolate.
Instead of waiting all year for the tasty treat, make it at home. This DIY take on McDonald's Shamrock Shake only requires four ingredients — vanilla ice cream, milk, mint extract and green food coloring. Get sweet satisfaction in just minutes and skip the trip to the drive-thru.
These adorable leprechaun hats are surprisingly easy to make. You can also swap the Fudge Stripe Cookies for any larger, round cookie of your choice.
"This recipe is something I remember my mom making when I was a kid. It's made with some "unusual" ingredients and reminds me of a very '70s-style recipe. Yes, pistachio is in the name, but it's a totally light and sweet cake-like dessert that I find refreshing as well," says Dylan Dreyer about this festive green cake.
You're probably familiar with a rolled cake, as used for the popular Christmas yule log cake (aka bûche de Noël). Using a high-quality matcha tea in these lightly sweetened Swiss rolls results in a festive treat for St. Patrick's Day.
No-bake means no stress for this crowd-pleasing pie. A chocolate cookie crumb crust is filled with a creamy mint swirl made with cream cheese, heavy cream, powdered sugar, peppermint extract and green food color.
An awesome (and healthy) kid-friendly breakfast, these pancakes are packed with two cups of spinach. They taste great unadorned or topped with maple syrup, a dollop of whipped cream or nut butter.
This simple icebox cake comes together in mere minutes, and won't take up precious space on the stove or in the oven. The small addition of almond extract enhances the nutty pistachio flavor.
If you want to avoid using green food coloring in your St. Patrick's Day treats, try these elegant matcha cookies. These buttery shortbread cookies get their pale green hue and earthy flavor from matcha powder.
This traditional Indian dessert is sweet and snackable, and the lively green pistachio topping makes it a natural pick for St. Patrick's Day.
This decadent dessert is made with layer after layer of mint chocolate pudding, chocolate crumbles and mint whipped cream. On second thought, we might make this one year-round.