This Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread replaces half the grains with whole grains and half the butter with Greek yogurt. Perfect as a healthy swap for St. Patrick’s Day!

whole wheat irish soda bread

I 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 beef 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.ingredients for whole wheat Irish soda bread in mixing bowl

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.

Now let me add a caveat here that St. Patrick’s Day is one day out of the year and one day of eating is not going to make or break your health. So if you want to make regular soda bread, by all means, go for it! Nothing wrong with having some of your grains be white and other whole. It’s called V-A-R-I-E-T-Y.

whole wheat Irish soda bread sliced into 3 pieces

But if you are looking to increase the amount of whole grains in your diet, this recipe is half whole-grain! 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!). Again, not because butter is bad (I lurrrve butter) but because the yogurt adds a protein punch! Added fiber and protein?! Now that’s 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 because it’s more mild in flavor than whole-wheat. If anything, I think it tastes just a bit heartier.

whole wheat irish soda bread with buttery spread

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.

slice of homemade Irish soda bread with butter

This bread is delicious with just a spread of Irish butter and maybe a little homemade jam for good measure. Happy St. Patrick’s Day, fam!

And if you want more St. Patrick’s Day recipes, check out these:

Irish Soda Bread Muffins

Gram’s Raisin Irish Bread

Vegan Cauliflower Colcannon

Instant Pot Guinness Beef Stew

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Guinness Irish Stew 

Healthy Shamrock Shake

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Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Kara Lydon
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf 1x


This Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread replaces half the grains with whole grains and half the butter with Greek yogurt. Perfect as a healthy swap for St. Patrick’s Day!


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


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Melt 4 tablespoons 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 remaining butter and brush melted butter all over the loaf.
  6. Transfer loaf to a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees F until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean, about 45-55 minutes. Let cool on wire rack and serve warm or at room temperature.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Holiday
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Irish

This recipe was retested, reshot and revamped to bring you the most delicious (and most beautiful) dish! The original post was published in March 2015.

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  1. Ashley

    This was AMAZING!! Made it today for St. Patrick’s Day. Subbed coconut oil for the butter and maple syrup instead of the white sugar. Delicious! Swapping some of the oil for Greek yogurt is genius!

  2. Kerry

    Thanks for a great, easy recipe! I made it for my consulting job at a supportive housing center that has a minimal kitchen and typical, urban grocery stores in the neighborhood. I had to sub lemon Greek yogurt for plain, make my own buttermilk, and omit the caraway seeds, but it was otherwise delicious and made the whole place smell amazing! Residents who were unfamiliar with Irish soda bread liked the subtle sweetness. Residents who had their own favorite versions thought it was still really good and couldn’t believe there was so little butter!

    • Wow! Those substitutions sound delicious. I love introducing soda bread to new people, too. Glad everyone enjoyed it!

  3. Emily

    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!

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

  5. Jenine

    Where can I find the nutritional info fir this recipe?

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

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

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

  13. 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 🙂

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

  15. 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 😉

  16. 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.