Cheddar-Pecan Cheese Ring with Strawberry Preserves

I’m in a vintage kind of mood today and I hope you are too, because this is one of those recipes from way back. You know, back when we actually wrote them down on little cards and filed them in a box. Yes, I’m talking about before the internet.

I’m always so amused when I see someone post a recipe they’ve just “discovered” and are raving about it as the latest thing. More often than not it’s something (or a slight variation on something) that has been around for years and years. I just want to say, “Girl, please. My friends and I were making that before you were born.” But I don’t. I just smile and feel happy that a new generation is enjoying all those recipes again.

This is one of those I’ve seen again recently. I remember when this recipe became popular in the early 70’s. It was during the time that Jimmy Carter was governor of Georgia and this was his wife, Rosalynn’s, cheese ring recipe. It enjoyed a resurgence in popularity when the Carters were in the White House. During those years, you couldn’t go to an event in Georgia with more than three people present and not find this cheese ring on the buffet.

And with good reason. It’s downright fantastic. Again, as I’ve said so many times before, here’s that combination of sweet and salt and that Southerners love. The savory, salty cheese, onion, and mayonnaise combined with the sweet strawberry preserves. Deliciousness on a cracker, y’all.

Make this for your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day. You’re gonna love it. I promise.

Start by toasting the pecans in the oven at 350 degrees or in a dry skillet over medium heat. Let them cool while you proceed with the recipe. Set aside 2 tablespoons of pecans for garnish.

Grating cheese for Cheddar-Pecan Cheese Ring with Strawberry Preserves

Grate the cheese with a box grater or food processor. There’s me with a hand-operated tool again. I tell y’all, I just cannot get with the machines in the kitchen. They’re too noisy and disturb my happy place. But you know it will take you about 3 seconds in your food processor, right?

Oh, and I cannot stress enough that you should not use the packaged shredded cheese in this recipe. It just won’t work. You must have freshly grated cheese. Got it? Okay.

Mix all ingredients thoroughly.

Now, just put all the ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until everything is thoroughly combined.

Forming the cheese ring

Turn the entire mixture out onto a board or serving plate and using your impeccably clean hands, shape it into a ring. Spoon the preserves in the center of the ring. Sprinkle the reserved pecans on top.

Serve this with assorted mildly flavored crackers. I like a sesame seed cracker best, but that’s just my preference.  The cheese ring may be made ahead and refrigerated but be sure to bring it to room temperature for serving. Leftovers also keep well for a few days in the refrigerator.

Alternate image - Cheddar-Pecan Cheese Ring


Cheddar-Pecan Cheese Ring with Strawberry Preserves
Prep time
Cook time
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A vintage recipe attributed to former first lady Rosalynn Carter. Good for any get together from football games, to movie night, to wine parties.
  • 1 lb. sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 small jar strawberry preserves
  1. Lightly toast the pecans in the oven at 350 degrees or in a dry skillet over medium heat. Let cool. Set aside 2 tablespoons of pecans for garnish.
  2. Grate the cheese with a box grater or food processor.
  3. Put all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon until thoroughly combined.
  4. Turn the mixture out onto a board or serving plate. Using your hands, shape into a ring. Place preserves in the center of the ring. Sprinkle with the reserved pecans.
  5. Serve with assorted crackers.May be made ahead and refrigerated. Keeps well for a few days in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving.
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    • says

      Glad you found me, Bella, and I hope you’ll visit again! I agree…this cheese ring is so addictive. The only problem I have with making it is that I can’t stop eating it.

  1. says

    I have had the longest day. After nearly a month of cleaning and packing my house went on the market Saturday; Saturday night I seriously wrenched my back installing a chandelier and this house showing business has been not only tiring but painful. I SO need a day off my feet with a heating pad to try to correct whatever I did to my back.

    So…what’s that got to do with your cheese ring? Well, I’m reading this article and am so tired I feel sick but you made me smile. Wide and big. How? This:

    “Girl, please. My friends and I were making that before you were born.”

    Oh yeah; how many times that very thought has gone through my head!! Thanks for the chuckle; I needed it. Now off to find some Ibuprofen and a heating pad!

    • says

      Barb – so, so sorry about your back! Fingers crossed that the house sells quickly and you have a few days to rest and take care of yourself.

      And, yeah, I even thought of you when I was writing that :-)

  2. says

    I had totally forgotten about this delicious recipe! I’m like you about the noisy kitchen machines. Not to mention that by the time one gets the thing out, grates the cheese, takes it back apart, cleans it and puts it away, YOUR cheese is grated, you have one simple tool to wash, and you are well into your recipe.

    • says

      That’s the truth, Rocquie! It has to be something really huge for me to go to the trouble of taking apart and washing those things. I’d rather wash my hand held tools any time!

  3. Miss P says

    Oh yes. We have made and consumed enough of this to “float a battleship.” For a true Southwest Georgia delicacy, substitute mayhaw jelly for strawberry preserves.

    Miss P

  4. Kayla H says

    We make something very similar, but I think we use double that amount of cheese and green onions instead of yellow or white. A friend took this to her niece’s wedding, and my mom convinced me to try it (it doesn’t look very pretty, lol). So glad I did! It is now my go-to dish, and there is never any left. I had no idea it was a vintage recipe!


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