I’ve personally taste-tested a variety of Boursin cheese substitutes to find the best one for every cooking occasion. Whether you’re on the hunt for the closest flavor match, in need of a last-minute pantry substitute, or want a swap that fits your diet, I’ve got the answers.
Herbed cream cheese is the best substitute for Boursin cheese. It’s got a similar flavor and consistency, and it’s convenient. Roule cheese is also a good option, or you can use a regular soft cheese and mix in your own herbs.
I busted out a box of my fancy crackers to try out different Boursin cheese substitutes.
Boursin is a French cheese seasoned with garlic and herbs. It’s got a soft, spreadable consistency and a buttery, herby flavor with the slightest hint of tang. It’s traditionally paired with crackers, but you’ll also see it used as a stuffing or melted down to make a pasta sauce.
Here are the substitutes I tested and my verdicts:
|Herbed cream cheese||Lots of brands to pick from||9/10|
|Roule cheese||Extremely similar||9/10|
|Homemade Boursin cheese||Classic and shortcut recipes provided||10/10|
|Neufchatel cheese||Lower fat||8/10|
|Whipped cottage cheese||Whipping breaks down the curds||8/10|
|Other soft cheeses||Need to be seasoned with herbs||7/10|
|DIY vegan Boursin cheese||Made with cashews||7/10|
Herbed cream cheese
Herbed cream cheese is the simplest and most convenient substitute you can use in place of Boursin. You can find it in any grocery store, and you have lots of brands to choose from including Rondele, Alouette, and even the ever-lovable Laughing Cow.
It’s got the same creamy and herby flavor profile as Boursin cheese, but it tends to be a tad tangier and I’d say the consistency was even smoother than that of Boursin cheese. It was super easy to spread on my crackers and tasted delicious.
How to substitute: Replace Boursin cheese in a 1:1 ratio with herbed cream cheese.
Roule is a soft, creamy cheese with the same French roots as Boursin and I would say the two are interchangeable in pretty much every scenario. The only real difference is in the initial appearance of the cheese. Roule cheese is rolled into a log similar to a Swiss roll, while Boursin cheese is in block form.
But both are flavored with garlic and herbs and have a spreadable consistency. Once the Roule was spread over my crackers, it was hard to tell the difference.
How to substitute: Replace Boursin cheese in a 1:1 ratio with roule cheese.
Homemade Boursin cheese
If you have some time on your hands, making your own Boursin cheese is a fun DIY project you can try.
Gavin Weber’s recipe is the traditional from scratch process that uses ingredients like full-fat milk and rennet. But this isn’t the quickest or easiest option.
Pressed for time but still want that homemade flair? Try Cookie Rookie’s cheat version (video below), which involves using a base of cream cheese and butter to create a decadent, extra-creamy Boursin.
- 16 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
- 8 ounces unsalted butter (room temperature)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
- ½ teaspoon dried marjoram
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried chives
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- Mix the butter and cream cheese together in a bowl until you have a smooth mixture.
- Add the rest of the herbs and seasonings. Mix until well combined.
Pro tip: Don’t worry if you don’t have all the herbs on hand, there is enough of them that you can leave one or two out for now. I also like using freshly minced garlic instead of garlic powder because I think it has a nicer flavor.
How to substitute: Replace Boursin cheese in a 1:1 ratio with homemade Boursin cheese.
Whipped cottage cheese
You can’t use classic cottage cheese as a substitute for Boursin because of its curd-like consistency. But a quick blitz in the food processor transforms the curds into a silky smooth and airy mixture, providing an even more decadent mouthfeel than Boursin cheese.
In terms of flavor, cottage cheese has a fresh, mildly creamy taste with a light tangy twist. The herby goodness that we love about Boursin is missing, but you can easily fix this by mixing in some crushed garlic and your favorite herbs.
Pssst… for best results, use fresh herbs. They have a more vibrant flavor than their dried counterparts, which pairs perfectly with the freshness of cottage cheese.
How to substitute: Replace Boursin cheese in a 1:1 ratio with your herbed, whipped cottage cheese.
Neufchatel cheese shares the same soft, spreadable consistency as Boursin, but it’s slightly grainier because it’s more crumbly. The cheese also comes from France and has a very similar flavor profile to the base of Boursin cheese (mildly creamy with a subtle tang). It’s not herbed though.
This is where your culinary creativity comes into play. I mixed in parsley and roasted garlic to my Neufchatel cheese to mimic that savory, garlicky flavor of Boursin cheese.
In the USA, Neufchatel cheese has a lower fat content than Boursin, which makes it a healthier alternative. And despite the hard-to-pronounce name, you can easily find this cheese in your local Walmart! It will be next to the cream cheese.
How to substitute: Replace Boursin cheese in a 1:1 ratio with your herbed Neufchatel mixture.
Other soft cheeses
Aside from the ones I’ve already mentioned, there are plenty of other soft cheeses you can use as a stand-in for Boursin. Most of them won’t be pre-herbed, so you’ll need to season them yourself like with Neufchatel and cottage cheese.
Fresh goat’s cheese is a great option that naturally offers a tangy bite similar to Boursin. But it also comes with a pretty strong gamey flavor that may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
You can also try ricotta or mascarpone, both of which are Italian cheeses with a luscious, spreadable consistency. They have a creamy flavor but are also slightly sweet, so you might want to offset this by mixing in a squeeze of lemon juice.
How to substitute: Replace Boursin cheese in a 1:1 ratio with your choice of seasoned soft cheese.
DIY vegan Boursin cheese
The original Boursin cheese brand has had a plant-based version of their garlicky, herby spread since 2021. But if you prefer making your own vegan alternative, why not give Power Hungry’s version a whirl?
You only need five ingredients: raw cashews, non-dairy milk, lemon juice, sea salt, and freshly chopped herbs. And there’s zero cooking involved. After soaking the cashews for about 15 minutes, you can throw everything in a blender, blitz, and voila!
You have your very own DIY vegan Boursin cheese, ready to use for your crackers and even cooked dishes like pasta or stuffed peppers.
How to substitute: Replace Boursin cheese in a 1:1 ratio with homemade vegan Boursin cheese.
Substitutes to avoid
I tried every suggestion I came across on the internet, but not all of them were good suggestions. Blue cheeses like Roquefort and Gorgonzola were mentioned as a substitute on a couple of websites, but they have a very different and much stronger flavor than Boursin, which not everyone will like
Brie was also suggested on some websites, but I think its earthy flavor with hints of nuttiness strays too far from the creamy goodness of Boursin cheese. It’s not the worst substitute, but there are better options.
BEST Boursin Cheese Substitutes + 2 To Avoid
- 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 8 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 3 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan
- 1 tsp dried dill weed
- ½ tsp dried marjoram
- ½ tsp dried basil
- ½ tsp dried chives
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp dried thyme
- 1 tbsp dried parsley
- Using a stand mixer or a bowl and spatula, combine the cream cheese and butter until fluffy.
- Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Season to taste.
- Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.