Homemade Orange Julius Recipe (Secret Ingredient)

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A healthier version of the classic mall food court drink. Serve Homemade Orange Julius Recipe with breakfast, brunch, or anytime you crave a refreshing drink.

Today I am sharing one of my favorite drinks – it takes me back to my teenage years. With just one sip I am back cruising the mall with my friends in the good ole days.

closeup of copycat Orange Julius with black & white straw & orange slice garnish on white background

What is an Orange Julius?

Only the most beloved food court drink of all times!

According to the San Jose Public Library, the original Orange Julius was created by Julius Freed in the 1920’s. He sold his delightful beverage from an orange juice stand in Los Angeles. Today you can find these classic drinks at Dairy Queen locations.

The refreshing drink gets it’s creamy orange flavor from a combination of orange juice, milk and powdered egg whites. If you’ve ever had an orange dreamsicle, it tastes JUST like it except in liquid form.

Even though I’ve “healthied up” my recipe, this version still tastes like a classic Orange Julius. Pinky promise!

While I’ve had the recipe for many years, I’ve taken the liberty to lighten it up just a bit.

By the way if you like making copycat drinks at home, you have to try my Cold Brewed Coffee. Better than Starbucks and so refreshing! And these homemade smoothies are super easy to make at home.

pouring blended drink into a clear glass on white background

What’s the Secret Ingredient?

My current version of this recipe includes a surprise ingredient:  yellow squash. You can’t taste the squash at all, pinkie promise.  You’re just going to have to trust me on this!

Confession time – I’m not a big fan of squash. I’m also not a proponent of hiding veggies in food but I make an exception for this recipe. If The Teens knew I put squash in this drink they would never, EVER drink it again – game over. Mums the word, okay?

labeled ingredients to make copycat orange Julius drink on marble background

Ingredients Needed for a Homemade Orange Julius

Orange Juice Concentrate – use your favorite, with or without pulp. 

Almond Milk – I like to use vanilla flavored

Oranges – peeled Navel oranges work well

Yellow Squash – uncooked & unpeeled

Ice Cubes

Vanilla – use pure vanilla if you have it

Confectioners Sugar – aka powdered sugar, it makes the drink frothy.

How to Make Copycat Orange Julius at Home

Toss all the ingredients in the blender jar and blend until smooth. That’s it! Couldn’t be any easier.

In addition to posting the recipe as I currently make it, I am including some of the ingredients from my original version for additional options. I think this updated drink recipe is sweet enough without additional sugars or honey, though.

And I no longer cringe (or try to trade) when I receive yellow squash in my Bountiful Basket because I know exactly how I will use them. I got the idea of adding yellow squash to my Copycat Orange Julius from the Fresh Blends cookbook by Blendtec.

closeup view of four glasses of blended drinks with straws and orange slice garnishes on a white background

Can You Make an Orange Julius with Fresh Orange Juice Instead of Concentrate?

The frozen concentrate works the best, but if you want to use fresh orange juice I recommend freezing it first. You can use a pan or ice cube trays of orange for freezing.

Is it Okay To Make a Big Batch to Store for Later?

Honestly, Orange Julius drinks are best fresh out of the blender, so I don’t recommend storing or freezing for later.

Originally published 3/13/15 and Updated 4/2/21.

More Delicious Treats That Are Easy To Make:

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glass of orange Julius drink with orange slices on a white background with text overlay

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closeup of copycat Orange Julius with black & white straw & orange slice garnish on white background

Homemade Orange Julius Recipe with Secret Ingredient

A healthier version of the classic mall food court drink. Serve Homemade Orange Julius Recipe with breakfast, brunch, or anytime you crave a refreshing drink.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Beverage, Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Blending Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 8 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 128kcal
Author: Lori @ www.AReinventedMom.com

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 1/2 cup Vanilla almond milk
  • 1-2 oranges, peeled and cut in half
  • 1/4 cup yellow squash, chopped, raw
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup ice cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients in blender jar and attach lid.
  • Blend until smooth and serve immediately.

Notes

NOTES:
  • Add 1 tablespoon of honey or 2 tablespoon of sugar if you like a sweeter drink.
  • Substitute your favorite milk for the almond milk.
Tried this recipe?Mention @AReinventedMom or tag #areinventedmom!

Nutrition

Calories: 128kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 90mg | Potassium: 444mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 337IU | Vitamin C: 96mg | Calcium: 122mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is provided as a reference, using an online calculator. We recommend verifying the information independently for accuracy.

Keyword: copycat orange julius, homemade orange julius, orange julius recipe

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