The Foodie Dietitian Blog

Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread

A St. Patrick’s Day classic, this Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread replaces half the grains with whole grains and half the butter with Greek yogurt. Tastes as delicious as the original – you won’t know this version is better for you! 

A St. Patrick's Day classic, this Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread replaces half the grains with whole grains and half the butter with Greek yogurt. Tastes as delicious as the original - you won't know this version is better for you! | @TheFoodieDietitianI feel like I get the best of both worlds being Irish and Italian. I get the red sauce and the pasta, and the Guinness and the corned beed (in my case cabbage and turnips) and Irish soda bread! Pretty lucky, I know. Growing up, we used to get together every St. Patrick’s Day at my grandparents’ house and I have memories of playing Irish folk music and hanging out on the patio. Today, I try to continue the tradition of gathering loved ones on this holiday by making a big ol’ crockpot of corned beef and cabbage and inviting friends over for a Irish feast.

Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread | @TheFoodieDietitian

Now any good Irish girl knows that St. Patty’s Day is not complete without Irish soda bread and every year I make the same soda bread recipe. But this year, I thought I’d change things up a bit and create a healthier version of the classic recipe.

Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread | @TheFoodieDietitian

This recipe has got half whole grains! Can I get a heck yeahhh for fiber? It’s also got half the amount of butter originally called for and I replaced it with Greek yogurt (hello, protein!). I feel much better eating this version for breakfast alongside some hard boiled eggs knowing that I’m getting double the protein and some added fiber. Now that’s a breakfast with some serious staying power. Plus, it tastes as good as the original. By using white whole-wheat flour, you really can’t detect a taste difference. If anything, I think it tastes just a bit heartier.

Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread | @TheFoodieDietitian

Whenever I make Irish soda bread, I always ask myself why I only make it once a year. It’s SO easy. This is one of those breads that doesn’t require you to rise-punch-rise and take 24 hours to make. With Irish soda bread, there’s no yeast required. In fact, the bread rises by a chemical reaction between the baking soda and the acidic buttermilk.

Whole Wheat Soda Bread | @TheFoodieDietitian Print
Whole Grain Irish Soda Bread | @TheFoodieDietitian

Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread

  • Yield: 1 loaf or 6-8 servings


  • 5 tbsp butter, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp caraway seeds
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Melt 4 tbsp butter with buttermilk in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, add flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, caraway seeds, and raisins.
  4. Add the buttermilk/butter mixture to the dry ingredients and mix together. Fold the yogurt into the dough.
  5. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Knead for 30-60 seconds and form into a round loaf. Lightly cut a cross in the top of the loaf with a serrated knife. Melt 1 tbsp butter and brush melted butter all over the loaf.
  6. Transfer loaf to a baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool and Serve warm or at room temperature.

This bread is delicious with just a spread of Irish butter and maybe a little homemade jam for good measure.

Irish Soda Bread | @TheFoodieDietitian Tell me, do you make Irish soda bread for St. Patrick’s Day? Have you ever tried a whole-wheat version?

Try some of my other St. Paddy’s Day recipes!


Irish Lentil Guinness Stew

Superfood Shamrock Smoothie | @TheFoodieDietitian

Superfood Shamrock Smoothie

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Vegan Cauliflower Colcannon-


  1. I made this, with some modifications, and it came out great! I used 1/2 whole wheat flour and 1/2 quick cook oats. The texture was very dense (but still bready- not like a bagel), hearty, and moist- definitely not as light as a traditional soda bread, but still very yummy. I also left out the sugar- I made it to go with a savory dinner, and found that the raisins added enough sweetness for my taste.
    All this being said, I really enjoyed this recipe, will definitely make again!

  2. Would like to try this recipe. But how much is “g”? Don’t know these amounts.

  3. Where can I find the nutritional info fir this recipe?

  4. Yum! This looks so good, I would love a piece right now!

  5. What a great recipe! Just pinned, my husband will LOVE this!!

  6. Look forward to trying this for St. Pat’s Day. Thanks for posting.

  7. Loraine Foster-Brame

    I like making small amounts daily – using 100% whole meal flour and 0% fat Greek yogurt:-

    225g whole meal flour
    130g 0% fat Greek yogurt
    1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    1/2 tsp sea salt
    1/2 tsp sugar

    Mmmmm – try serving with butter, jam and a little yogurt on top.

  8. Tande Moreau

    I made this yesterday and it makes a beautiful loaf. It was moist and delicious. I used non fat Greek yogurt. Thanks for this healthier option to make Irish soda bread. It was great with our corned beef and cabbage!

  9. leah bouquard

    Hey I tried this recipe today. I modified it a little by using all whole wheat flour, 1 tablespoon of honey instead of the sugar, whey instead of the buttermilk and an additional half cup of dried cranberries. I also made two loaves instead of one. It turned out pretty good. Thanks for posting!

  10. Maggie Condon

    This recipe looks amazing, can’t wait to try! But before I do, can I sub plain non-fat Greek yogurt instead of the low-fat variety?

    • Thanks, Maggie. I personally recommend sticking with the low-fat Greek yogurt since you’re eliminating a good amount of fat by swapping out the butter. But, I think you’d be fine using non fat yogurt if that’s your yogurt of choice.

  11. Irish Soda Bread is the absolute best bread in the world, in my opinion. I look forward to my mom’s Irish soda bread like no other – I’m obsessed! I love your recipe and this makes me crave it right now! Can’t wait 🙂

  12. Oh goodness! I can almost taste this right through my laptop screen!

  13. What a gorgeous loaf! And love how you used Greek Yogurt. I have a soda bread recipe I’m trying on Friday, but am pinning to try this one soon after. Making the corned beef & cabbage too – love having it once a year just like we used to do in the Shea household! Happy St Paddy’s Day to you guys!

    • Thanks, Jenny! Will you share the soda bread recipe you’re trying? I love experimenting with new versions. So fun – enjoy your weekend and your Irish feast! My grandmother’s maiden name is actually Shea. Maybe we’re related 😉

  14. I love, love, love Irish Soda bread but have NEVER made it. Not once! As much as I love to cook, I’m not really a baker, I hate the idea of having to measure ingredients precisely 🙂 This whole wheat version looks great- maybe I’ll get into the kitchen this week and give it a shot for Saturday!

    • Woot Woot! It’s ridiculously easy to make. So refreshing when you don’t feel like making a yeast bread that takes foreverrr. Enjoy! Let me know how it turns out if you end up making it.

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