Is Boursin plant based gluten-free?

Boursin is a popular French garlic and herb cheese spread that has a creamy, tangy flavor. With its smooth texture and versatility, Boursin can be used in a variety of recipes from appetizers to main dishes. As more people adopt plant-based diets or need to avoid gluten for health reasons, a common question arises: is Boursin plant-based and gluten-free?

What is Boursin?

Boursin cheese was originally created in 1957 by Francois Boursin in Normandy, France. It is a soft, spreadable cheese made from pasteurized cow’s milk and cream. Traditional Boursin contains garlic, herbs, black pepper, and salt as main ingredients. Popular flavor variations include garlic & fine herbs, cranberry & pepper, and garlic & chive.

The creamy, tangy flavor of Boursin comes from the cheese cultivation process. The milk and cream are heated, cultures are added, and the mixture is allowed to thicken. Then it is strained to achieve a smooth, spreadable texture. Once the base is made, garlic, herbs, and spices are mixed in to create the distinct Boursin flavor profile.

Over the years, Boursin became popular worldwide and is now produced by Bel Brands USA. It can be found in most grocery store cheese sections and is used as an ingredient in appetizers, sandwiches, dips, pasta, and more.

Is Boursin Plant-Based?

No, traditional Boursin is not plant-based. Boursin is made from pasteurized cow’s milk and cream, so it contains dairy. This means that Boursin is not suitable for vegans or those following a strict plant-based diet.

However, there are some plant-based alternatives to traditional dairy Boursin. Some options include:

  • Vegan “boursin style” spreads made from nuts, coconut, or soy
  • Cashew or tofu based cheeses infused with garlic and herbs
  • Nutritional yeast and garlic mixed into a creamy spread

These provide a similar creamy, garlicky flavor and texture to traditional Boursin. But they are made without any animal products, so they can fit into a vegan or plant-based diet. Brands like Kite Hill, Miyoko’s, and Treeline make plant-based Boursin alternatives.

When purchasing, it’s important to check the label for ingredients. Traditional Boursin contains milk, cream, and bacterial culture, while vegan options will list nuts, plant oils, starches, and cultures instead. Those wanting to avoid dairy need to choose a clearly labelled plant-based or vegan variety.

Is Boursin Gluten-Free?

Traditional Boursin does not contain any gluten ingredients. The main ingredients in Boursin are pasteurized milk, cream, garlic, salt, pepper, and herbs. None of these contain gluten.

However, some flavored Boursin varieties may contain additional ingredients that do have gluten. For example:

  • Boursin Shallot and Chive contains modified food starch, which can sometimes be made from wheat
  • Boursin Garlic and Fine Herbs contains wheat flour

So while original Boursin and some flavors are gluten-free, it’s important to check the label. Those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity need to look for gluten-free labeling or contact the manufacturer to confirm which varieties are safe.

In general, as long as Boursin doesn’t list any gluten grains like wheat, barley, or rye in the ingredients, it should be gluten-free. Sticking to the original garlic and herbs or garlic and pepper flavors provides the best bet for avoiding gluten.

Nutrition Facts of Boursin

Here is the nutrition information for a 1 oz (28g) serving of original Boursin garlic and herbs cheese spread:

Calories 90
Fat 9g
Saturated Fat 6g
Trans Fat 0g
Sodium 190mg
Carbohydrates 0g
Fiber 0g
Sugars 0g
Protein 6g

As a cheese spread, Boursin is high in fat, specifically saturated fat. It also contains a good amount of sodium. There are no carbohydrates, fiber, or sugar in original Boursin. The protein comes from the milk ingredients used to make the cheese.

The calorie, fat, sodium, and protein content may vary slightly between different Boursin flavors. But the original garlic and herbs variety provides a good general guideline for the nutrition facts of Boursin cheese spreads.

How to Use Boursin

Here are some popular ways to use Boursin garlic and herb cheese:


Boursin makes a delicious dip for bread, crackers, or vegetables. It can also be whipped into a creamy pizza crust dipping sauce. Spread Boursin on top of crostini or bruschetta for easy party snacks.

Sandwiches and Burgers

Mix Boursin with mayo or cream cheese to make a tangy sandwich spread. It’s great on both cold and grilled sandwiches. Boursin also pairs well with beef – use it as a burger topping in place of cheese slices.


Crumble Boursin over the top of green, potato, pasta, or grain salads to add a creamy garlic flavor. The herbs in Boursin also give a nice contrast to bold salad ingredients like tomatoes, olives, and nuts.


Stir Boursin into hot pasta for a quick cream sauce. Try penne, farfalle, or shells to hold the Boursin sauce in the pasta contours. Garnish with grilled chicken or shrimp for a complete meal.


Boursin cheese pairs perfectly with seafood like crab cakes, fish fillets, or shellfish. Use it as a topping, mix into stuffing, or blend into sauces for baked fish. The richness rounds out the briny seafood flavors.


Spread Boursin on top of roasted or steamed veggies like cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, or green beans for a savory flavor boost. The garlic and herbs give a nice complement to the vegetables.


Mix Boursin with chopped herbs and rub it directly onto potato wedges or halves before baking for garlic parmesan potatoes. The Boursin gives a tangy, creamy coating to balance the starchiness.

Is Boursin Healthy?

Like most cheese spreads, Boursin is high in calories, fat, and sodium. A 1 ounce serving provides about 90 calories and 9 grams of total fat, with 6 grams being saturated fat. It also has 190 milligrams of sodium, which is 8% of the daily recommended limit.

For those limiting fat, sodium, or overall calories, Boursin should be enjoyed in moderation. The high saturated fat content may be a concern for those with heart disease or high cholesterol. The sodium levels could also aggravate hypertension.

However, Boursin does provide some nutritional benefits:

  • Good source of protein – 6 grams per serving
  • Calcium for bone health – 10% DV
  • Phosphorus – 10% DV
  • Vitamin B12 – 15% DV

Additionally, research shows that fermented dairy products like Boursin may provide probiotic benefits for gut health.

Overall, Boursin can be part of a balanced diet when used moderately and paired with low-fat, low-sodium foods. Those with dietary restrictions or health conditions should consider the fat, sodium, and saturated fat content before consuming. But for most healthy adults, Boursin can offer flavor and nutrition when not overconsumed.

Boursin Alternatives

For those wanting a similar flavor to Boursin without the dairy, sodium, or saturated fat, there are several alternative options:

Plant-based spreads

As mentioned previously, nut and seed based cheese alternatives like those from Kite Hill provide the tangy garlic and herb flavor of Boursin without the dairy. They can be used in recipes or as spreads just like traditional Boursin.

Laughing Cow cheese wedges

These small cream cheese wedges are lower in fat and sodium compared to Boursin. Laughing Cow also has a garlic and herb flavor that provides a similar creamy, herby taste.

Greek yogurt dip

Plain Greek yogurt mixed with minced garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper makes for a quick lower-fat substitute for Boursin dips and spreads. The yogurt gives a similar texture too.

Neufchâtel cheese

This soft French cheese has one-third the fat of cream cheese. Whipped Neufchâtel with garlic and herbs mimics Boursin in both texture and tang.

Part-skim ricotta cheese

Blending part-skim ricotta, garlic, herbs, and a touch of lemon juice or vinegar provides a lower-fat Boursin dupe that’s great for pasta sauces or dipping.

Cottage cheese

Pureed low-fat or fat-free cottage cheese with garlic and herbs makes for an easy lower calorie Boursin substitute. Add milk or cream cheese for an even creamier texture.


Does Boursin need to be refrigerated?

Yes, Boursin is a fresh cheese spread that requires refrigeration. After opening, it will stay fresh for up to 2 weeks refrigerated. Boursin can be left out at room temperature for up to 4 hours before needing refrigeration again.

Is Boursin safe during pregnancy?

Boursin made from pasteurized milk is generally safe to eat in moderation during pregnancy. As with all cheeses, pregnant women should avoid soft Boursin that is mold-ripened or contains unpasteurized (raw) milk, as this could pose risk of foodborne illness. Always check labels and consume pasteurized dairy products from reputable brands.

Can Boursin be frozen?

Yes, Boursin can be frozen for longer storage. Let the cheese thaw overnight in the fridge before using, as freezing slightly alters the texture. Boursin may become a bit more crumbly after thawed but will still retain its flavor.

How long does Boursin last unopened?

An unopened package of Boursin has a shelf life of about 3 months from the production date. Store it in the fridge and consume within 5-7 days after opening for best quality and food safety.

What wines pair well with Boursin?

Try medium-bodied white wines like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, or Viognier with Boursin. Dry sparkling wines and fruity reds like Pinot Noir also complement Boursin’s creamy flavor. Avoid very oaky or sweet wines that will clash with the herby tang.


Boursin’s creamy, mellow garlic and herb flavor profile makes it a versatile addition to appetizers, sandwiches, salads, pasta, and more. While traditional Boursin is not plant-based or vegan, there are dairy-free alternatives available for those avoiding animal products. Boursin also typically does not contain gluten, but some flavored varieties may include wheat.

When consumed in moderation, Boursin can add flavor and nutrition to a balanced diet. Just be mindful of the saturated fat and sodium content if you have dietary restrictions or health conditions. Substitute Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, or plant-based cheeses for lower fat and sodium options. Enjoy Boursin’s iconic taste and blend up your own easy homemade substitutes.

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