It's pretty easy to sell me on a cheesy pasta recipe that's simple to make. So when I stumbled across the viral Boursin pasta bake that's been circulating online, I knew I had to try it — I even endeavored to make it a tad more nutritious by adding in some protein.
Protein is a crucial nutrient for aging well, feeling full and building muscle. With this in mind, I decided to dice up some chicken breast (a lean source of protein) and throw it into the mix. Just 4 ounces of chicken tenderloins offers up 22 grams of protein, per the USDA. The resulting Boursin Chicken Pasta recipe has since become a weeknight staple in my home.
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Boursin cheese is a popular brand of Gournay cheese, and you'll likely find it in the deli section of your local supermarket. This soft, spreadable cheese has a mild flavor and a texture similar to cream cheese that makes it the perfect base for pasta sauce.
All you have to do is heat up your Boursin on the stove or in the oven to melt it down, add some liquid and whatever flavors and add-ins you like (in this case, I went with cherry tomatoes, Italian seasoning and some red pepper flakes, like in the viral recipe). I've also tested this recipe with mushrooms instead of tomatoes, which worked fabulously!
One important note: The viral Boursin pasta sauce is made in the oven by roasting the tomatoes and Boursin together with spices and olive oil. I made mine on the stove because I cooked the chicken in a skillet and opted to use the same pan to reduce dishes, but you can bake your Boursin if you prefer!
Without further ado, here's my high-protein Boursin Chicken Pasta. It will make you feel like you're eating a gourmet meal right at home — without all the fuss.
Things You'll Need
1 Boursin cheese block
8 oz. pasta of your choice (I used Trader Joe's Italian Macaroni)
1 lb. chicken tenderloins, cut into 1-inch pieces (boneless, skinless chicken breast works here, too)
4 tbsp. olive oil
8 oz. cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
Large pot (for boiling the pasta)
Large deep skillet with lid
Cooking spoon (for the pasta)
Wooden cooking spoon (for the sauce)
- In a large pot, bring 4 to 6 quarts of water to a rolling boil (add a pinch of salt if desired).
- While you're waiting for the water to boil: In a large, deep skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil until it starts to bubble over medium-high heat.
- Reduce the heat to medium, then add your diced chicken. Sauté until golden brown and juices run clear, about 7 to 8 minutes. NOTE: Chicken should always be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the USDA.
- Add your pasta to the pot and boil it according to the package instructions.
- Drain your pasta, reserving 1 to 2 cups of the pasta water for your Boursin sauce.
- Remove the chicken from the skillet when it's cooked, and place it on a plate. Cover the plate with foil to keep the chicken warm.
- Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the same hot skillet, then add your Boursin block in the middle of the pan and place the cherry tomatoes around it. Sprinkle the top with your Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes.
- Let the Boursin begin to melt and the tomatoes start to wilt for 1 to 2 minutes, then pour in 1 cup of the hot pasta water.
- Begin to stir the Boursin, tomatoes, seasonings and water together to combine. You can add more pasta water for your desired texture. Keep in mind the sauce will thicken as it cools.
- Once the sauce is heated and well-combined, turn the heat to low, add your chicken back to the pan and stir.
- Finally, toss in the pasta, remove from the heat and stir to combine. (You can also spoon the sauce over your pasta in a bowl if you prefer.)