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Garlic Cheddar Herb Irish Soda Bread {+Video}

34 Reviews

Whenever we have soup I need toppings or a good bread to go with it. This Garlic Cheddar Herb Irish Soda Bread is perfect for sopping up stew in the winter or on St Patrick’s Day!

A whole loaf of garlic cheddar herb irish soda bread sitting on a blue and white striped cloth napkin and topped with sprigs of fresh rosemary

If you are someone who gets intimidated by working with yeast, then this is the recipe for you! There’s no yeast, no rising, no waiting…and you still get a fluffy, flavorful loaf of bread. It is as easy as making a cake. Just mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients and bake!

You have a fresh beautiful loaf of bread in less than an hour!

The garlic and cheddar are an impeccable combination (they always are!) and the fresh herbs add bursts of flavor in every single bite.

Why is it Called Irish Soda Bread?

Soda bread is a type of quick bread that uses sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) as the leavening agent rather than yeast. Traditional soda bread has four standard ingredients – flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk. Buttermilk contains lactic acid that reacts with the baking soda to form little bubbles of carbon dioxide that gives the finished bread its fluffiness.

I’m not sure what makes it Irish, other than that it’s the most popular name for it. Soda bread is popular in many European countries as well as here in America. In fact, Native Americans have been using this type of bread leavening for hundreds of years.

A photo of a slice of garlic cheddar herb irish soda bread sitting on a blue and white striped cloth napkin.

So Versatile

So I just mentioned how soda bread starts with 4 basic ingredients. From there, all sorts of different things can be added. You can add butter, raisins, nuts, cheese, herbs, or even chocolate chips. This is one of the reasons I love it! You can make it almost anything you want! Sweet or savory! Simple or loaded with goodness! For this version, we use cheddar cheese and herbs. If you want to try something else delicious, try adding sun dried tomatoes, Asiago cheese, and fresh basil! It’s like a caprese-esque dream!

A photo of a slice of garlic cheddar herb irish soda bread sitting on a blue and white striped cloth napkin.

Why the Cross on Top?

It is tradition for a cross to be cut in the top of the dough with a knife before baking it. There are legends and symbolism that explain this tradition. People believed it would ward off the devil and protect a household, and the cross is also a symbol of a blessing or giving thanks.

However, there is also a practical reason for the cross. Slashing the dough lets heat penetrate deeper in to the thickest part of the bread and allows the bread to stretch and expand as it rises.

A photo of a whole loaf of garlic cheddar herb irish soda bread in a Dutch oven and topped with sprigs of fresh rosemary

Less than an Hour Bread

Let me just briefly review how this bread comes together. You start by whisking all the dry ingredients together – flour, salt, baking soda, and sugar. Then you add the cheese and herbs. For this loaf, I grated the cheese, but if you want to try something fun, cube the cheese into half inch cubes. Then you will have little pockets of cheese throughout the loaf.

Break the butter up into the flour using your fingers and work it into the flour until the mixture become grainy. Create a well in the middle of your dry ingredients and add your wet ingredients – egg and buttermilk. I always use a wooden spoon to stir dough together, and then I switch to using my hands until the dough forms a ball.

Then butter whatever vessel you want to bake your bread in, cut your cross in the top, and bake! When it is done baking, I like to sprinkle it with a little kosher salt. Slice and serve warm!

A photo of a slice of garlic cheddar herb irish soda bread sitting on a blue and white striped cloth napkin.


How Do I Know When Soda Bread is Done?

Your bread will be nice and golden on top. When you tap it on the top, it will sound hollow inside.

Can Irish Soda Bread be Frozen?

Irish soda bread can definitely be frozen! After baking it, make sure it cools completely to room temperature, then wrap it in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container. It will last for up to a week in the freezer.


More BREAD SIDES You’ll Love:



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Whenever we have soup I need toppings or a good bread to go with it. This Garlic Cheddar Herb Irish Soda Bread is perfect for sopping up stew in the winter or on St Patrick's Day! Love a warm slice with butter! #bread #irish #cheddar #side #sodabread #cheddar #herb

Garlic Cheddar Herb Irish Soda Bread

4.27 from 34 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 12
A hint of garlic, cheese and fresh herbs liven up the classic Irish Soda Bread and with no yeast it's a cinch to make!


  • 4 Cups Flour plus 2 Tablespoons
  • 1 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon Sugar
  • 2/3 Cup Cheese Shredded Sharp
  • 2 Cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 Teaspoon Rosemary Fresh, chopped or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1 Teaspoon Thyme Fresh, or 1/2 Teaspoon dried
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter cold
  • 1 Egg Large, whisked
  • 1 3/4 Cup Buttermilk


  • Preheat the oven to 425°
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda and sugar.
  • Add the cheese and herbs and toss to coat.
  • Break the butter up into the flour and using your hands, pinch and mix the flour in until it resembles a grainy texture.
  • Make a well in the center and add the egg and buttermilk.
  • Use a wooden spoon to stir it together then switch to your hands and knead the dough gently just until it forms a ball.
  • Butter a skillet, dutch oven or cookie sheet and place the dough on top.
  • Use a knife to cut a cross in the dough, only about 1/2" deep and then bake for 35-40 minutes or until the top is brown and the bread sounds hollow when tapped.
  • Remove from the oven and serve hot and fresh.


This bread is good for up to 2 days, or can be frozen for a week.
Nutrition Facts
Garlic Cheddar Herb Irish Soda Bread
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 240 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 34mg11%
Sodium 449mg20%
Potassium 103mg3%
Carbohydrates 34g11%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 265IU5%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 96mg10%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

A whole loaf of garlic cheddar herb irish soda bread sitting on a blue and white striped cloth napkin and topped with sprigs of fresh rosemary


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Healthy Habits That Help Me!

About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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Recipe Rating


  • This bread is wonderful! I made it with whole wheat flour, so I just did the 4 cups (not the 2tblspns) of flour and doubled the sugar and salt. Mine took longer to cook through, and the bottom got overly-crusty, so I might make 2 loaves next time or reduce the heat to 400? Regardless it was delish and easy with great texture.

    • Reply
    • Hi Kim! Yes, you could divide into two loaves or move your rack up a notch in the oven so it’s farther from the bottom. I’m so glad you enjoyed it! If you go with 2 loaves, you’ll definitely decreased the bake time. So keep an eye on it!

      • Reply
  • Made this to go with our St Patrick’s Day dinner. Easy and turned out super yummy!

    • Reply
    • Yay! Thank you so much for the feedback, Ann! Love to hear it!

      • Reply
  • This was so easy and came out perfect…delicious!
    I cooked it in a 12″ cast iron skillet.
    About halfway through the cooking time, it was browned enough for my liking so loosely covered with foil for remainder of the cooking time.

    • Reply
    • Yay! So glad you enjoyed this Dawn!! Thank you for the feedback!

      • Reply
  • The herbs are fantastic in this, but the flavor of the cheese is barely there. Next time, I would put in a full 8oz of grated cheese.

    • Reply
    • I would never argue with more cheese! Thank you for the feedback Kathy!

      • Reply
  • I am excitedly waiting for my first recipe from your website to come out of the oven! I feel like I’ve stumbled across a beautiful recipe book and I get to take it home for free. Have to make some adjustments to ingredients as I live overseas so we shall see….

    • Reply
    • Oh my! I am delighted with the result. 40 mins exactly in my very hot oven.

      • Reply
      • Yay!! So glad to hear it!

    • How did it go?? Thank you for the support!

      • Reply
  • We loved this! Great flavor and so easy to make. The fresh herbs infused the bread with so much flavor. Thanks for the awesome recipe.

    • Reply
    • Yes! The fresh herbs are what take it over the top! Thank you for taking time to leave comment!

      • Reply
  • Okay this was SOOOOOOOO GOOD… BUT. It was nowhere near done at 40 minutes. It was doughy all throughout the middle of the loaf. Should I make two loaves instead? When you make it, is it really cooked all the way through in 40 minutes? I ended up tearing it open and then cooking it sort of in pieces to make sure it was all done because I was worried it would burn if I kept cooking it as a loaf.

    • Reply
    • Yes, in our oven it is done at 40 minutes, but a friend of mind said hers wasn’t done until around 55 minutes. You’ll want to tap on the top and make sure it sounds hollow. Every oven bakes differently, and it really seems to show in this recipe. So glad you enjoyed it!

      • Reply
  • Hey, Can this recipe be cut in half without losing all its wonderful properties? We love soda bread but the large loaves are more than we can eat. Maybe we will need to freeze half if not. Thank you.

    • Reply
    • I would definitely recommend freezing the other half. It tastes great after being frozen and allowing it to thaw. It reheats well! It’s a tough recipe to half because of the single egg.

      • Reply
      • Just wanted to update that the bread is delicious! I didn’t add the rosemary due to not having but the thyme and garlic were plenty. Thank you for this delicious recipe.

      • Yay! Thanks so much Jane! This bread is so versatile, you can add just about anything. We’ve done sun dried tomatoes, asiago cheese and basil, and it was so good! Or just rosemary with some sea salt sprinkled on top…delicious!

  • How much garlic? Chopped, grated or powder??

    • Reply
    • Hi Kathleen! It is two cloves of fresh garlic minced and it gets added with the herbs. I’m fixing the recipe card now! Thank you for letting us know!

      • Reply

Healthy Habits That Help Me!