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5-Ingredient Fresh Orange Smoothie (Orange Julius Copycat)

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Copycat Orange Julius Recipe -- a quick, easy, and delicious fresh orange smoothie |

‘Tis the season for all things Vitamin C, eh?

Actually, this may be totally weird to point out, but I have to say that there’s a little phenomenon that exists in our culture that always makes me smile. I’m guessing you may have noticed it before. The It’s-Going-Around Phenomenon.

It can happen at end of December, the beginning of March, or smack dab in the middle of July. It can happen just about anywhere in the world. It’s what happens when you can’t stifle a cough, or have to blow your nose, or anytime you reference your child/friend/spouse/parent/cousin’s-boyfriend’s-mechanic’s-dentist. Anytime there’s a mention of someone being sick, the person near you quickly chimes in that — you guessed it — “Oh, I’ve heard that there’s something going around!”

Granted, that’s probably also true every day of the year. But it’s one of those nice mini traditions in our culture that I kind of love. Because no one ever wants to think that they’re the only one having to carry around 100 kleenex, or gulp down another spoonful of Nyquil. Nope, misery and colds love company. And they also need lots and lots of Vitamin C.

Which is where this random story is heading. If you happen to be someone who caught “that bug that’s going around” right now, or even if you’re trying to stave off said bug, well I have the perfect smoothie for you. And, it just so happens to be a healthy one that tastes just like the famous “orange julius” you used to get at the mall. As I would have said back in my high school Orange Julius days — score!

My original Orange Julius photo, back in 2010.

Yes, for anyone who has been following this blog forever and ever, this is actually a really old recipe from the good ol’ days of 2010 that I decided to re-photograph and re-share with you since it was collecting dust back in the archives. Which worked out for me, because in the weeks leading up to my Mexico vacation (where I’m currently basking in the sunshine), I was bound and determined to do everything possible not to get sick.

So, in comes this smoothie to the rescue.

Copycat Orange Julius Recipe -- a quick, easy, and delicious fresh orange smoothie |

This fresh orange smoothie has become a sort of winter tradition for me these past few years. I try and make it a point to always have fresh oranges in the house during cold and flu season, and one of the easiest ways to use them is with in this smoothie.

Copycat Orange Julius Recipe -- a quick, easy, and delicious fresh orange smoothie |

It is the epitome of “quick and easy” to make, with just 5 simple ingredients. And the claim to fame which makes it taste just like the Orange Julius we all used to love is that tiny ingredient right there in the center: vanilla.

It’s the key ingredient that kicks this smoothie up a mega notch. And when paired with the milk (I use almond milk), a bit of honey (if needed to sweeten), and tons of fresh oranges (I’d say this one’s what they call “heavy pulp”), this smoothie tastes like an absolute treat.

Copycat Orange Julius Recipe -- a quick, easy, and delicious fresh orange smoothie |

To make it, simply toss everything in a blender…Orange Julius 7

…and, well, blend it. ;)

No fancy instructions for this one.

Copycat Orange Julius Recipe -- a quick, easy, and delicious fresh orange smoothie |

Then pop in a straw (I’m obsessed with these metal straws from West Elm lately), and down all of that delicious Vitamin C. Hopefully it will make you feel better, and keep you feeling better, and — at minimum — make your day taste all the better soon. :)

Take care!



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Fresh Orange Smoothie (“Orange Julius”)

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 -5 cups 1x


A healthy orange smoothie made with FRESH oranges, and your choice of milk and sweetener. Enjoy this fresh orange smoothie (“Orange Julius”) recipe today!


  • 4 fresh oranges, peeled
  • 2 cups ice
  • 1/3 cup milk (your preference – regular, soy, coconut, etc.)
  • 12 tablespoons honey (or agave or your desired sweetener), if needed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, store-bought or homemade


  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth.  Add more ice if you would like.


My favorite trick with this is to pop the peeled oranges in the freezer for 30 minutes prior to making these.  So that they’re not thoroughly frozen, but definitely chilled and beginning to freeze.  Then you can use slightly less ice.  :)

Copycat Orange Julius Recipe -- a quick, easy, and delicious fresh orange smoothie |

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185 comments on “5-Ingredient Fresh Orange Smoothie (Orange Julius Copycat)”

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  1. YUM! I just made this with grapefruit! I added a packet of sweetener (oh my sweet tooth!). SO SO SO delish!

  2. My heart jumped for joy at seeing this recipe. I LOVE orange julius drinks and they are nowhere to be found anymore. Can’t wait to give this a whirl! Thanks!

  3. i love orange julius!!! YUMMY!!! brings back high school memories of walking through the mall eating original pizza slice and drinking an orange julius!!!

    I just posted my mandarin orange muffin recipe that is super yummy you might like:

  4. Soy milk is the way to go on all smoothie recipes.

    I’ve been making my own smoothies for breakfast every morning for the past few months. No sugar, keep them purple, that’s the general rule.

    Grape juice (or açaí), soy milk, frozen blueberries, frozen blackberries, and frozen strawberries.

    Awesome stuff.

    (Get a hand blender and knock this down to a 3 minute make, with very little clean up.)

    Between that, smart eating, and regular exercise I’ve lost 35 lbs.


    All of that aside, every once in a while I’ll grab a couple oranges and throw together something very similar to your recipe. I’ve added the vanilla extract but never the honey – seems a smart way to go for a dessert-fix. I definitely vouch for this though.

    As a side-note, it’s been rather warm here… I think tomorrow afternoon I’ll play with a frozen lemon concoction. Pretty much this recipe of yours (sans vanilla) and maybe a touch more honey. I’d think it would work quite nice.

  5. Oh. my. goodness!! This drink looks perfect. I’m bookmarking this recipe. Thanks for sharing this great recipe and tantalizing photo!

  6. freezing oranges = less idea! Thanks

  7. This looks so refreshing!


  8. Oh yum… I would love one of these right now! The weather has been hot here, and I”m baking cookies, which isn’t helping the temperature in my kitchen!

  9. sounds really, REALLY good about right now.

  10. Yum! I always freeze cut up strawberries before making smoothies. they last long and can be used as ice fruits, lol! I can’t waitto get some oranges from the farmer’s market and make this :)

  11. Thank you so much for sharing. I just made this for breakfast. AWESOME.

  12. Great drink, interesting blog!
    Thank you!

  13. That looks nice and cook and refreshing and good!

  14. i am about to make this for lunch. so excited! it looks great!

  15. I made this today with my cousin (: It turned out amazing! We added some vanilla ice cream and it was the perfect touch! Thanks for sharing this recipe, much love!

  16. Wow, just what I’ve been looking for! I have a bag of oranges just begging to be used!! Cool tip about the peeled oranges too! Thanks so much for posting this!!

  17. ALI!! You NAILED the taste of the Orange Julius!!! It’s so incredibly delicious.

  18. SOOOO GOOD!!!!

  19. I just made this and it is just as good if not better than the real thing. Instead of using milk though, I used yogurt and it was outstanding.

  20. I always wondered how an orange Julius was made! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe! I’ll probably make this after we get back from the pool later! :)

  21. I just wanted to let you know that I made this and it was fabulous!! And it did remind me of an Orange Julius! :) I also used your recipe to make a cool blue grape smoothie. Instead of using oranges, I just used 2 cups of black grapes. It was awesome! :) Thanks so much again for sharing such a great recipe! :)

  22. This looks so refreshing! I love natural beverages, this one looks amazing.

  23. this drink turned out really well!!! i was looking to make something with oranges and this turned up….i tried it and man -it was delicious. I was so eager to make it that i totally forgot that my oranges had some seeds. BUT! It was sooo delicious, i really didn’t care!!! Thanks for the recipe!

  24. this was super yummy thank you. we bought 25lbs of navel oranges from out local little stand and i did not know what to do with all these oranges and this will be great. i am going to peel a whole bunch of them and freeze them and make these for me and the kids!

  25. My kids love smoothies but I only had oranges left. Tried this recipe and was AMAZED!!!! It’s sooo easy and YUMMY, We will be making this quite often, thank you.

  26. what about the seeds? do you take them out of the oranges , or leave them in? and when do you take them out before freezing or after?

  27. I’ve made this twice over the past two days and have been pretty impressed (especially since I used partially frozen milk for it tonight.) My only complaint is that, both times, they have been overly “chewy”. While I am a fan of orange juice “with pulp”, this has been a bit too much for me and has made the smoothies kind of bitter. So, next time, I will remove the insides from each orange section and add these to the smoothie, instead of whole peeled orange sections.

  28. Just tried it, it tastes amazing!
    I think I’m going to try it with orange juice instead, it’s a bit chunky for my taste

  29. YUM, thanks for sharing!!!! I made mine with vanilla yogurt instead of milk and vanilla and it turned out great!!

  30. I usually have a mixed berry smoothie for breakfast, but I have been wanting to give an orange smoothie a try since I love oranges. I am planning on giving this a smoothie a try tomorrow morning for breakfast. Thanks for sharing.

  31. I just made this but used frozen strawberries instead of ice. It’s amazing!!

  32. I tried this and it was fantastic! thanks

  33. Is the orange zest nessascary? Srry i cant spell. Im in a rush and not sure if it would make a difference

    • I was looking for a smoothie to make with fresh oranges. This recipe is really chunky and the zest is just too much. I will try this again without any zest at all

  34. SO good! (I just made it) The only thing I would change is that I think I’ll put in a little less vanilla next time.

  35. This is great :-)try replacing the milk with Vanilla ice cream what a great drink :-) unbelieveable. Got a new kitchen top Ninja <mixer it woriks great on all smoothies WOW WE WOW happy trails

  36. Omh my stars this little drink was so yummy! My girlies and me gave it whirl and it was fabulous!!
    It was just FABOO-FABOO! ;)

  37. My son and I made this drink yesterday! The orange drink was tasty!!

  38. can i do this with two oranges

  39. In place of vanilla, almond essence is a fresh tasty alternative.

  40. I am so happy to find this recipe. Years ago we had an orange julius in a mall that has been closed for years. Have some oranges that need to be used and this will be mine and my husband’s treat tonight! Thanks (-:

  41. Was in a smoothie mood last night, had some oranges on hand and gave this recipe a try. It was absolutely delicious and very easy! Would definitely use this again! Thanks!

  42. Can’t wait to try this! How many servings does the recipe make?

  43. Im makeing this recipe at my grandmas, but she only has a single serve blender. How can i make this recipe for one serving.

  44. Was good..I only used two oranges/w coconut milk and 2 pkg of splenda as the sweeter..These were the only changes I made..I agree it is a bit chunky.Next time I will use less sugar orange juice maybe..

  45. What do you mean by “zest of 1 orange?

    • The zest of one orange would be the outer layer of the skin of one orange. You remove the zest by rubbing the orange with a grater or zesting tool. Those little orange shavings that come off give your smoothies and desserts, etc. the sharp orangey flavor most of us love.

  46. I make this drink almost every day.. :) Best Orange Julius ever!

  47. I tried this recipe and my children just love it. We will be making this orange smoothie again! It is also a money saver, I did not have to buy anything!

  48. Maybe I ‘zested’ too deeply through the top layer of the orange but it added a strong aftertaste and bitterness I didn’t care for. Tried without the zest and it was perfect – almost like the store kind! Will definitely make again:)

  49. I wasn’t able to make it smooth. No matter how hard I blended, it stayed with big blobs of orange pulp and got really bubbly. And I think it was too much vanilla in the recipe, because you can sort of taste the vanilla and it doesn’t taste very good.

  50. I love this smoothie. Better than anything you could buy. i used honey and milk. Wonderful..