Recipes » Appetizer Recipes » Cheddar Pecan Cheese Ring with Strawberry Preserves

Cheddar Pecan Cheese Ring with Strawberry Preserves

This Cheddar Pecan Cheese Ring with Strawberry Preserves is a vintage cheese ring recipe attributed to first lady Rosalynn Carter. Good for any get together!
4.7 from 39 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cheese ring surrounded by crackers on a serving board.

If you’re looking for the perfect appetizer recipe for any occasion, you have to try Rosalynn Carter’s Cheddar Cheese Ring with Strawberry Preserves. I’ve been serving this since the 1970s and people are still talking about it!

I’m in a vintage comfort food kind of mood today and I hope you are too because this Cheddar Pecan Cheese Ring with Strawberry Preserves is one of those recipes from way back.

Cheese ring surrounded by crackers on a serving board.

How far back? Well, Jimmy Carter was a governor, and his wife, Rosalynn, was still relatively unknown, far back. So far back that we actually wrote down recipes 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 being the latest thing. More often than not it’s something like this recipe with a slight variation that has been around for years and years.

I 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.

🧀 The Cheese Ring Makes a Comeback!

This recipe is one that I’ve seen again recently. I remember when this became popular in the early 70s. It was during the time that Jimmy Carter was governor of Georgia and this was his wife, Rosalynn’s, 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 savory 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 next get together with friends. You’re gonna love it. I promise.

🥘 About the Ingredients


A photo of all the ingredients needed for the recipe.

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  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese (Use sharp or extra sharp according to your preference. And be sure to grate it yourself. Don’t purchase the shredded cheese in the bag.)
  • Pecans (Definitely a Georgia-grown ingredient. The toasted pecans are a perfect contrast to the other ingredients in this recipe.)
  • Mayonnaise (Use regular, not low fat.)
  • Onion (Use a mild yellow onion)
  • Strawberry Preserves (Use your own homemade or a quality brand of purchased preserves.)

You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.

🔪 How to Make Cheddar Pecan Cheese Ring with Strawberry Preserves


Toast the Pecans

Toasted pecans in a dry skillet.
Step 1.

Step 1. Start by toasting the pecans in a dry skillet over medium heat. Let them cool while you proceed with the recipe. Set aside 2 tablespoons of pecans for garnish.

👉 PRO TIP: An alternative for toasting pecans is to place them in a small baking pan and cook at 350 degrees for 4 to 5 minutes. When you start to smell them, you know they’re done!

Grate the Cheese

Grated cheese on a wooden board.
Step 2.

Step 2. Grate the cheese with a box grater or food processor. Finely grate the onion as well.

👉 PRO TIP: I can’t stress enough that you should not use the packaged shredded cheese in this recipe. It just won’t work. The coating on the packaged cheese that keeps it from sticking together will keep your cheese ring from sticking together, too. You simply must have freshly grated cheese.

Mix Ingredients

Step 3. Put all the ingredients (except the strawberry preserves) in a medium mixing bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until everything is thoroughly combined.

Form the Ring

Step 4. Turn the entire mixture out onto a serving board or serving plate and using your impeccably clean hands, shape it into a ring.

Add Garnish

Cheese ring with preserves and pecans added.
Step 5.

Step 5. Spoon the preserves in the center of the ring. Sprinkle the reserved pecans on top. Refrigerate for at least two hours before serving at room temperature.

🍽 Serving


Serve the cheese ring with assorted mildly flavored crackers. I like a sesame seed cracker best, but that’s just my preference.

🍚 Storage and Make Ahead Information


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. Freezing is not recommended.

❗ Tips


  • Repurpose leftovers into a sauce for steamed vegetables. Toss the leftovers, minus the preserves, into a saucepan and melt over low heat. Drizzle over steamed broccoli, carrots, or cauliflower.
  • To make sure the cheese ring is firm, be sure to refrigerate for several hours before serving. Serve at room temperature.

❓ Frequently Asked Questions


Can I use a mold to make the cheese ring?

To be honest, this recipe doesn’t mold well. It’s a bit too “sticky” to come out of the mold without making a mess. I always form my into a ring using my hands because of that. If you really want to try a mold, I’d recommend lining it with plastic wrap and spraying the plastic wrap really well with cooking spray.

Can I substitute something for the mayo? Can I use a different type of preserves?

Because of the unique flavor profile of this recipe, I really don’t recommend making many substitutions. It’s a proven, traditional recipe that’s meant to be enjoyed in its original form.

What are the best crackers to serve with this?

I always serve Pepperidge Farm Toasted Sesame crackers with this cheese ring. You could also offer pretzels or pretzel crisps, bagel or pita chips, or even old-fashioned Captain’s wafers.

Have you tried this recipe? I’d really appreciate you giving it a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card or in the comments section.
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📖 Recipe

Cheese ring surrounded by crackers on a serving board.

Cheddar Pecan Cheese Ring with Strawberry Preserves

This Cheddar Pecan Cheese Ring with Strawberry Preserves is a vintage cheese ring recipe attributed to first lady Rosalynn Carter. Good for any get together!
4.72 from 39 votes
Print It Rate It Save
Course: Appetizers
Cuisine: Southern
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 20 servings
Calories: 203kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 1 pound sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated onion
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 12 ounces strawberry preserves (small jar)

Instructions

  • 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.
  • Grate the cheese with a box grater or food processor. Finely grate the onion.
  • Put all ingredients (except strawberry preserves) in a medium mixing bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon until thoroughly combined.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Notes

  • This recipe requires freshly grated cheese. The coating on the packaged, shredded cheese that keeps it from sticking together will also keep your cheese ring from sticking together. 
  • Use regular mayonnaise, not low fat.
  • To make sure the cheese ring is firm, be sure to refrigerate for several hours before serving. Serve at room temperature.
  • May be made ahead and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature for serving. Leftovers also keep well for a few days in the refrigerator. Freezing is not recommended.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1 | Calories: 203kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 230mg | Potassium: 62mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 243IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 172mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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— This post was originally published on February 5, 2013. It has been updated with new photos and additional information.

Cheddar Pecan Cheese Ring with Strawberry Preserves - A vintage cheese ring recipe attributed to first lady Rosalynn Carter. Good for any get together from football games, to movie night, to wine parties. https://www.lanascooking.com/cheddar-pecan-cheese-ring-with-strawberry-preserves

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27 Comments

      1. I may try it.. because I need a cheeseball type recipe for a brain mold for Halloween party. I plan on adding a red food color powder in it then spooning the preserves over the brain shape

    1. I’ve always done this in a fluted Bundt pan. I don’t even spray it because there’s enough Mayo to “grease” it. I just invert it onto a platter and then pull out on the sides of the pan a little to break the seal and it’ll plop right out.

  1. 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!

  2. 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

  3. 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.

    1. 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!

  4. 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!

    1. 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 :-)

      1. Lana, I had this cheese ring at a church luncheon in the 1970′ and finally found it again here. Thanks so much truly delicious.

  5. I so love this recipe….it is addictive! Love your blog, which I found via Pinterest!

    1. 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.