Is Dairy-Free Boursin as Good as the Original?

In the newest version of the garlic-and-herb French cheese, coconut oil takes the place of cow’s milk.

Published July 27, 2021.

Boursin is a great cheese to have on hand. It’s soft and spreadable, with a little punch from garlic, parsley, and chives. It’s a crowd-pleaser on a cheese plate, and one of my signature party snacks is Boursin-stuffed Peppadew peppers. I also love it on sandwiches (try it with roasted vegetables and arugula!) and in frittatas. For the easiest summertime pasta dinner, I toss a few spoonfuls into hot pasta along with halved cherry tomatoes and torn basil and then watch as the Boursin forms a sauce. It’s one of my favorite cheeses. 

When I heard that there was a new dairy-free Boursin, I was curious. My team recently evaluated vegan chocolate ice cream and the sorts of vegan cheeses you’d put on a cheese plate—and we found a lot to be excited about. In 2021, vegan spins on traditionally dairy-based foods can be downright incredible.

What’s in Dairy-Free Boursin?

Both original and dairy-free Boursin have the signature seasonings: some form of garlic plus parsley and chives. That’s where the similarities end. 

The original cheese is made with milk and cream. The vegan version—much like some of our favorite vegan ice creams and cheeses—replaces the dairy with some form of coconut. In this case, it’s coconut oil, plus canola oil and starches.

How Do Original and Dairy-Free Boursin Compare?

My verdict? The dairy-free Boursin is good! It’s not identical to the original, but it is absolutely worth buying. Here’s how they differ.

One difference between regular and vegan Boursin? The way they're packaged.

First: format and texture. Boursin is typically sold in foil-wrapped cylinders. Dairy-free Boursin comes in a plastic tub. It’s a little slicker in texture, but both are smooth, creamy, and easy to spread across a cracker.

Second: flavor. The original Boursin is bright and tangy, with pretty assertive garlic and herb flavors. The dairy-free Boursin is subtler. It’s not as lemony or bright, and the herb flavor is also a little more muted. But it’s still absolutely delicious, and it doesn’t taste a bit like coconut.

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Just like the original Boursin that I’ve loved for years, the dairy-free version is versatile and likely to be a big hit at parties—and not just those attended by vegans.

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