Traditional recipes

Hooked on Cheese: Boursin

Hooked on Cheese: Boursin

One day last week, I was holed up in the famed NYC Cheese Lab (a.k.a. my apartment) tasting cheese with my trusted lab assistant (a.k.a. project manager) Madeleine when she asked me to tell her exactly how I got my start working with cheese. As I began recounting my story, it dawned on me that I’ve been in the business of cheese longer than she has been alive. Ouch!

Suffice it to say, I got my start many years ago at the tiny retail cheese counter in my family’s restaurant in Norman, Oklahoma. To say my options to source artisan products were “limited” at the time is very much an understatement. Luckily, I had the good fortune of meeting a chef who regularly imported a few items from France and generously offered to bring in some cheeses for me; one of the cheeses he suggested was herbed Boursin. Yes, it’s true: I have been in this business since Boursin was a special-order air-freight cheese. Oh, how the times have changed.

Flash forward to this week, when I was out wandering in my neighborhood and stopped into East Village Cheese, the shop where Madeleine used to buy cheese on her shoestring budget while a student at NYU. As I walked into the store, I immediately spotted the familiar box of Boursin, and, on a whim, checked the label. I was pleasantly surprised that the cheese is still made from simple ingredients, with no preservatives or unnatural additives. I fondly recalled its soft texture, like whipped cream cheese, and its nice balance of garlic and herbs. Call me nostalgic, but I decided to bring some home and schedule a tasting.

Back at the Lab, me and my team first tried the Boursin on bagels, and decided it was a great alternative to cream cheese. We then had it with sliced Pink Lady apples and warm bread, another simple but delicious combination. I was feeling a bit experimental, so to top it off, I made small Boursin soufflés, which turned out to be incredible! Everyone liked the cheese every way we tried it.

The great thing about Boursin is that it can be found in most grocery stores – everywhere from Whole Foods to my corner bodega. I was reminded this week that just because a cheese is relatively inexpensive and easy to find doesn’t mean it’s not a great cheese. Plus, it brought me back to the days of my youth, which is priceless.

Additonal reporting by Madeleine James.


Ingredients & Substitutions

**scroll down to the bottom for exact measurements & printable recipe card!**

  • Boursin Cheese - Although Boursin is the star of this show, you could also swap it out for goat cheese!
  • Broccoli - Broccoli is one of those veggies that's perfect for this dish but if you don't like broccoli, you could also do shaved brussels sprouts, asparagus, spinach or kale!
  • Onion - I think it adds this nice sweet undertone once the onions are slightly caramelized but you could def leave it out if you don't have any or if you don't like onion.
  • Olive Oil - Any neutral oil will work but I recommend olive oil for pasta dishes!
  • Salty Butter - I think this fat adds the perfect richness to the broccoli but you could leave it out if you're trying to be healthy.
  • Malfadine Pasta- This malfadine pasta shape is so fun but if you can't find it, any old noodle will work just fine!
  • Red Pepper Flakes - Since I started using Flatiron Pepper Co's red pepper flakes, my life has been changed! Who knew what regular red pepper flakes were lacking?! These are a game changer and I highly recommend them!
  • Lemon Juice - I like to finish this dish with a little bit of lemon juice to add the perfect pop of freshness, but it's not 100% necessary.

What is Boursin Cheese Made Out Of?

Traditional Boursin Cheese is made with Gournay, a type of French cream cheese. It&rsquos a really unique type of cheese in that it is both soft and crumbly, fluffy and spreadable. Gournay cheese, however, isn&rsquot always easy to find.

Luckily, there&rsquos a work around to make great Boursin Cheese at home! By blending Cream Cheese, Butter, and Mascarpone in a food processor, it is possible to achieve that same type of soft yet crumbly cheese texture that Boursin is famous for. It&rsquos so simple that you&rsquoll wish you&rsquod tried it sooner!


FAQs about delicious Boursin Cheese:

Ingredients You Will Need to Make Boursin Cheese:

Neuchatel cheese, my preferred cheese as it is low-fat, unsalted butter, herbs &ndash preferably fresh herbs but I do use dried herbs depending on the time of the year and what is available. Herbs: parsley, dill, marjoram, basil, oregano. Minced garlic, salt, and black pepper.

Can Boursin Cheese Recipe be frozen and used later?

Yes. Especially during the Holidays or when I am making a bunch of recipes such as Father&rsquos Day, Fourth of July, I make anything I can ahead of time. Boursin Cheese freezes really well I make it into square or a ball and par-freeze, then place the cheese in a freezer bag or use a food saver to preserve for a later date.

Can the cheese or herbs be adjusted or changed in this Cheese Spread Recipe?

Feel free to swap out herbs to your liking. I have added chervil, thyme, extra garlic. The recipe can be adjusted to your preferences. As for the cheese, I have used goat cheese in lieu of the cream cheese with success.

How long can Boursin Cheese be kept in the fridge?

Well covered, Homemade Boursin Cheese can be kept in the fridge about one week.

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Tools You May Need To Make Homemade Boursin Cheese:

  • KitchenAid Hand Mixer: My go-to hand mixer! Sturdy, reliable and does a great job!
  • Dried Herbs: Order your dried herbs here.
  • Mixing Bowls with Lids: I use these mixing bowls every day and I love that they have lids. [/dropshadowbox]

Having a party, enjoy these apps and cocktails too:


Serving Suggestions

You can serve this creamy, soft cheese with your favorite veggie sticks, like carrots, celery, or bell peppers.

You could also dip mushrooms, sliced radishes, cherry tomatoes, or any other veggie you like.

Crackers and crusty bread are also great serving companions for this cheese.

Or you could spread the cheese evenly over a bagel or roll.

If you like, you can use this as a substitute for store bought Boursin cheese in your favorite recipes.

It goes great at holiday dinners or any meal when you really want to jazz up the mashed potatoes.

If you are serving this for a party, I recommend providing a variety of dippables including veggies and crackers.

The more variety you provide, the more likely you’ll please everyone there!


How to Make Your Own Boursin-Style Cheese at Home

Forget spending $7 on two ounces of the store-bought stuff.

Anyone who knows me well will tell you that I&aposm cheap. I wear that title cheerfully, like a badge of honor. Will I spend money for quality? Yes. Will I spend money for a great ingredient when nothing else will do? Absolutely. But there are times when the substitute is just as good (really) and the cost is a fraction. And there are times when a DIY version of what you can buy in the store is so easy, and so inexpensive — it&aposs legitimately impossible for me to resist the cheaper route. Which brings me to Boursin. 

So, what actually is Boursin cheese? Boursin is the brand name of a soft, creamy-style French cheese (called Gournay) that is flavored with various things. The variety many of us are familiar with is garlic & fine herbs, which costs around $7 for two ounces in my area. And it is delicious — truly. 

That said, a block of America&aposs most ubiquitous cream cheese (Philadelphia) costs around $2 for eight ounces. And all you need to turn that block into a really mouthwatering ringer for Boursin is: 

Homemade Boursin Cheese

  • 1 (8 oz.) block of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled and finely minced or grated
  • 1-1 ½ teaspoons of herbes de Provence
  • A pinch of salt
  • A few grinds of black pepper

Now, all you really need to do is mix all of these ingredients together thoroughly (using a fork and muscle power or a food processor), and voila! Here are just a few ingredient tips to guarantee your DIY Boursin is perfect:

You&aposll note that I emphasized a small garlic clove, and that was no accident. Anything more than a very small glove will totally overpower the cheese — if not right away, then certainly by the next day. 

If you don&apost have a jar of herbes de Provence in your spice cabinet, I highly recommend picking one up.  This miraculous blend of fennel, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, tarragon, basil, mint, and a few other optional additions (based on the specific blend you buy), is one of the only dried herb mixes I keep in the kitchen. It adds a sunny, savory, herbal "South of France" lift to all sorts of dishes. I think you&aposll find yourself reaching for it constantly, so I&aposm not asking you to buy it JUST for this. Crush the herb mix thoroughly in your palm before adding to the cheese.

Cream cheese can be a touch salty to begin with, so start with a small pinch of salt. You can always add more. When it comes to pepper, a few good grinds should do the trick. 

Now, put your "Boursin" in a sealable container, and refrigerate. If you&aposre stronger than I am, wait overnight. If not, an hour or so will allow the flavors to at least begin their work together. 

This imposter is truly fantastic, and the cost turns an expensive cheese indulgence into an anytime treat. Stored properly, your homemade Boursin should be safe for 10-12 days in the fridge — not that it&aposs likely to last that long. 


This is a chicken and broccoli dish. I cook them separately and combine them with a Boursin cheese sauce and serve on pasta for a complete meal.

The Sauce

I usee the Boursin with some Parmesan to make the sauce with some half and half. I can't bring myself to use heavy cream, but I want to add some creaminess, and I needed more volume for all the goodies.

I added some extra garlic at the start of the sauce for my wife. Consider it optional.

While not hard, there are several pans to be cleaned.

The Chicken

I suggest skinless boneless chicken breasts, but you can use chicken tenders or skinless boneless thighs. If you use thighs, cook to a final internal temperature of about 180 ° . The final temperature for the breasts will be 165 ° .

Pasta, Broccoli, and Timing

Finally, check the timing on your pasta and the timing on how you are cooking your broccoli, so it all gets done at the same time.

My pasta was 7 minutes the broccoli was 6 minutes, and the sauce takes about 7-8 minutes. Start the sauce, drop the pasta in the boiling water, then turn on the microwave for the broccoli. Perfect timing.

Storage

Good refrigerated for 2-3 days and frozen airtight for 2-3 months.


Ingredients

This easy, creamy Boursin chicken recipe is made with boneless, skinless chicken breasts, vegetable oil, mushrooms, butter, shallot, white wine, Boursin cheese (Garlic and Fine Herbs) and parsley.

Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts. The original recipe called for bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, but I much prefer the simple swap of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. They cook faster and are much easier to eat, which is especially good for my kids!

Boursin Cheese. Boursin cheese is a unique pantry ingredient that is made with fresh cream and soft cheese, flavored with herbs and spices. This creamy, dreamy, delectable cheese spread is incredibly versatile. It’s already pre-seasoned and adds TONS of flavor to the chicken dish for nearly zero effort.

It’s also one I almost always have in my fridge. It is a perfect snack to spread on crackers and enjoy with a glass of wine. It also makes a ridiculously easy mushroom sauce, like this Boursin chicken!


Y'all, I Made the Baked Feta Pasta With Boursin Cheese Instead, and It's SO Much Better

The first time I made that feta pasta that went viral on TikTok, I knew it would be the last. Unless your idea of tastiness is a mouthful of salt with a hint of tomato, you'd probably agree that baked feta and pasta aren't the most compatible. While I'm never trying the original recipe again, I'm in love with the simplicity of the concept, and it's pretty clear most people are too. I've seen TikTokers swap the tomatoes with strawberries, or go traditional Italian with ricotta or mozzarella, and Lizzo even has a vegan version, but the one I knew I wanted to experiment with was the version that uses Boursin. Boursin is a garlic- and herb-seasoned cheese with a creamy texture that's a cross between goat cheese and cream cheese. It's normally spread on crackers, but this recipe proves it's great on pasta too.

Just like the original, you'll start by dumping two pints of tomatoes into your baking dish, along with olive oil and whatever spices you want. Since Boursin already has garlic, parsley, and chives, you technically won't have to go heavy on the seasoning. But with only salt and pepper, I felt like the OG recipe was too plain, so I ended up doing what has been tried by other TikTokers, adding onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, and crushed red pepper flakes. I don't think the Boursin necessarily needed it, but it amps up the flavor big time.

Thank goodness I gave this recipe a second chance, because it's actually so tasty and it totally had me reaching for seconds. Keep scrolling if you want to see how to make this savory dish.






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