Make this savory yeast free Irish Soda Bread recipe for your St Patrick’s Day dinner! It’s loaded with cheddar cheese and fresh rosemary and will go perfectly with some slow cooked corned beef!

whole round loaf of irish Soda Bread on wooden cutting board

I hope I don’t upset any Irish Soda Bread purists with my savory version. I accept the fact that a traditional Irish soda bread recipe is plain, but come on! Cheddar cheese and rosemary, my friends! That flavor combo is a total win-win!

Who can argue with that? And It’s yeast free so no worrying about rising!

This was my first time making a savory version. Usually, I’ll make soda bread with raisins or cranberries, or even chocolate and pecan. While these sweet versions are super tasty, they don’t exactly pair up well with something as awesome as this corned beef and cabbage. 

What kind of cheese is best to use?

I added Seriously Sharp Cheddar from Cabot for this and it completely lives up to its name. The cheese and rosemary become speckled through the dough and the smell that fills the kitchen when baking is outrageous. You could use any other medium-hard cheese but the cheddar provides maximum flavor as well as little nuggets of crusty burnt pieces of cheese on the surface of the bread.

What does No Yeast Irish Soda Bread taste like?

Irish Soda Bread was a staple in most Irish people’s lives in the 1800’s. There wasn’t a lot of money or ingredients so the bread was made by using baking soda as a leavening agent instead of regular yeast, so this recipe is perfect for a yeast free lifestyle or if you are finding it hard to find Yeast in the store. This created the bread quicker and it was an easier ingredient to have on hand.

The problem was that the Irish Soda Bread recipe didn’t have much flavor if any. But times have changed and you can find many different versions made with spices and dried fruit. The texture of the soda bread is like a scone or biscuit with a softer interior.

How do I store my Irish Soda Bread?

The bread dries out very quickly, so making it on the day that you plan to eat it is important, and you’ll love that fresh outer crust and soft interior!

Cutting homemade Irish soda bread into slices

Serving suggestions

I must put my foot down on one thing though guys. Make sure to serve thick slices, slightly warm, with some real butter. Once you’ve spread the butter on the bread, try sprinkling some extra sea salt on top! I could eat the whole loaf just like this, never mind with corned beef.

How to use leftover bread

By some miracle that you should have any of the bread left over, here are some ideas on ways to use it up!

  • Bread pudding – Creamy and crunchy on top, this is an epic dessert! Treat it just like sliced bread and dip it in the custard batter.
  • Panzanella Salad – Perfect for topping this popular Italian salad.
  • Corned beef grilled cheese sandwich – Yup I could go with that!
  • French toast – Top with some corned beef hash and you’re set.

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

Slices of cheddar filled homemade bread on wooden cutting board
titled photo (and shown): Rosemary Cheddar Irish Soda Bread

More amazing Irish Soda Bread recipes!!

Healthy Delicious- Whole Grain Recipe

Around My family Table- Gluten Free Recipe

Apron Strings- Soda Bread Rolls

The View From Great Island- Brown Bread

Kitchen Treaty- Soda Bread Muffins

This post was originally published in March 2015, this is an updated version with fresh photographs.

Irish soda bread on wooden cutting board

Rosemary Cheddar Irish Soda Bread

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 290kcal
Author: foodnessgracious
This tasty Irish Soda Bread recipe uses sharp cheddar cheese and fresh rosemary. This is perfect as a side to your corned beef dinner or for making corned beef sandwiches.
Print Recipe


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary
  • 2 cups grated sharp cheddar
  • 1 cups buttermilk
  • 1 whole large egg


  • Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly flour a non stick baking tray or spray with a non stick spray.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, pepper, rosemary and cheese.
  • Add the egg to the buttermilk and beat until mixed.
  • Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour and lightly mix through until it becomes sticky and a ball forms.
  • Dump the dough out onto a flour dusted work surface and roughly knead the dough into an ball shape. It may be on the wet side so have some extra flour on hand for dusting.
  • Place the dough onto your prepared baking tray. Take a sharp serrated knife and cut an X on top of the soda bread. 
  • Season the top with some more salt and pepper and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes and the top is golden brown.
  • Let cool for 20 minutes before slicing and serving with butter.


Calories: 290kcal