Boursin Pasta With Spring Peas


This week, our month of easy pasta continues with this insanely delicious dish, using Boursin cheese from the grocery store. Danielle from I Will Not Eat Oysters shares the recipe she’s perfected over the years…

Creamy Shells With Spring Peas
By Danielle Oron of I Will Not Eat Oysters

When I was in high school, my best friend and I decided to cook a spring dinner for our boyfriends. The only thing was, we had never attempted making more ambitious than Kraft macaroni and cheese. Our menu consisted of a big salad, chicken parm, garlic bread and asparagus pasta. It was an utter disaster. The only thing that was edible was the pasta. I didn’t know it then, but I was onto something big.

I had used a package of Boursin to make the pasta sauce, and it was so delicious. The Boursin hugged the pasta so well. It was as if it were actually a starter for a creamy pasta sauce. (Someone contact them! They need to change their marketing direction.)

After years of making this pasta sauce as a simple and luxurious weeknight dinner, I feel like I’ve really perfected it. Since spring is finally here, you can easily find peas in the markets. They’re so fresh and sweet right now, the best addition to a pasta. (You can also find a bag of fresh peas at Trader Joe’s.) The Garlic & Fine Herbs Boursin is ideal for this dish. It adds so much depth with just one ingredient. The contrast between the garlic Boursin sauce and the sweet peas is divine, and the shells are the perfect vessel. The peas and sauce fill the shells so each bite bursts with flavor. The addition of lemon zest to finish the dish adds a brightness and subtle acidity. And if you’re like me, you’ll add a ton of fresh black pepper for a hit of spice. Happy spring!

Recipe: Creamy Shells With Spring Peas
Serves 4

What you’ll need:

1 lb. medium shell pasta
1 package (5.2 oz.) Garlic & Fine Herb Boursin (you can find it for a good deal at Trader Joe’s)
1 1/2 cups fresh peas (frozen are fine too)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh black pepper
zest of 1 lemon

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the shells and cook until just al dente. (They will continue to cook in the sauce.) Reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water. Drain the shells.

In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add the 1 cup of pasta cooking water and the Boursin. Break up the cheese as it melts. Simmer the sauce for about one minute. Add the peas and the shells to the pan and stir. Cook for about a minute until the sauce has thickened around the shells and the peas are cooked through. Stir in the salt and pepper and taste for seasoning.

Plate the shells and garnish with the lemon zest and fresh black pepper. Enjoy!

Thank you so much, Danielle!

P.S. More recipes, including rotini with blue cheese and spinach and pasta with caramelized onions and gorgonzola.

(Photos and recipe by Danielle Oron. Thanks to Caroline Donofrio for her help with this series)

  1. M. Briere says...

    Love this recipe! I added about 1/2 cup diced sautéed white mushrooms and wow !! Really subtly elevated! Making for 2nd time tonight.

  2. Kim H says...

    Great recipe! So incredibly easy, and fast. I added some fresh parsley and Parmesan, and it was perfect! My whole family loved it,

  3. dior says...

    We made this for dinner last night and it was delish! Super quick and easy too. Our toddler (14 months) loved it as well. Next time we’ll double the amount of Boursin though :)

  4. Val says...

    Made this with garlic herb goat cheese and broiled asparagus. Delicious and perfect for one night in a rental house (didn’t want to buy too many ingredients!)

  5. Julie says...

    I made this on the weekend. So easy you could barely call it a recipe. Some previous comments said it was bland however the flavours seemed intentionally delicate. I made a few adjustments …… Sautéed some razor fine slices of garlic in a little olive oil gently (don’t burn it) before adding the water and Boursin. At the end of cooking I threw a few fresh herbs chervil and torn basil, with a little squeeze of fresh lemon juice as well as the zest …. fresh and simple.

  6. Casey says...

    I love Boursin and had some leftover from a party. I also had some cooked pasta. I used chicken broth instead of pasta water and I think it improved the flavor. I also sprinkled some fresh parsley too! Thanks for the idea!

  7. just tried this last night. so so so delicious!
    i’ll cook it again soon! maybe adding crispy bacon bits and halved cherry tomatoes.

    thank you!

  8. LT says...

    I just made this and it was bland before I doctored it… thanks to the other commenters, I started with less pasta, about 3/4 of the box. I still had to add a ton of sea salt and pepper, and then I tossed in about 1/4 cup of parmesan, and finally some scoops from a jar of alfredo sauce to make it less bland and to cover the pasta with enough sauce to taste anything..

  9. Delicious! I made this last night (added chicken) and it couldn’t be any easier – it was a huge hit, no left overs. I’ll definitely be making this again. Time to try the Jalapeno Mac Cheese recipe!

  10. JMT says...

    Hmm… I made this and I wasn’t very impressed at all. I followed the recipe – not much you can mess up! – and it really lacked flavor, as though the pasta were way too much for the sauce. I ended up scrounging and added the remains of a tub of cottage cheese, a glob of yogurt, and a bunch of grated parm to make it taste like anything … after which it wasn’t bad :)

    • Rebecca says...

      Thanks! I always wonder if Joanna actually tries these recipes before posting.

    • I just made this and I totally agree with you. It was flavourless and needed some other ingredients to improve the taste.

  11. Alexandra says...

    Do you know if this dish is good reheated? I’m only cooking it for two and don’t want it to go to waste. It looks absolutely delicious!

  12. I was so excited about this post as I LOVE Boursin! I agree with Tyler though, there was too much pasta and not enough cheese, or maybe I should have used 2 packages of Boursin. My husband had 2 helpings, so I guess he didn’t mind :-)

  13. Made this tonight.. it was easy and tasty but there seems to be too much pasta. A pound seems like too much, I wasn’t able to really taste the cheese! I would make again but with 3/4 lb pasta.

  14. Maybe this is meant to be a vegetarian meal but I think it’d be great with some bacon crumbed on top! This will be a new go-to for busy weekday nights. I just wish Boursin wasn’t so dang pricey!

  15. Made this last night – delish!!!

  16. @meredith, we do the same thing as @sumslay. we carefully pour a bit of the water into a liquid cup measure before draining the pasta.

  17. Boursin is also AMAZING on roasted potatoes!

  18. YAAAS! I always put frozen peas in my pasta!! …because I am a child and have to sneak vegetables in my food whenever possible. I CAN’T WAIT to try this!

    And to answer Meredith’s question about the pasta water, i usually just carefully pour it into a cup before I drain (using a spoon to hold back the pasta).

  19. This is one of my favs, I make it all the time with whatever veggies are in season. It is delicious x

  20. I like mine with trader joe’s goat cheese, chopped cherry tomato, capers and pepper. So good!

  21. When I was home sick from school as a kid, my mom would make her version of this that we called peas and noodles. Then we would watch the Lion King and cry when Moufasa died. This is the grown up version of peas and noodles, though I still love the LK.

  22. This looks like a great meal for the middle of the week blahs. I’m stopping on the way home tonight to get these ingredients. Thank you!

  23. Switch peas for spinach and I’m there. I don’t normally like creamy sauces on pasta but I do make an exception for Boursin once in a while

  24. So funny. I just read a similar recipe in this book, Bon Appetempt. There are basically only three ingredients: brie, broccoli and rigatoni. Sounds so good! Gotta try both.

  25. This is my favourite with oven roasted cherry tomatoes and asparagus! it’s also bright and sunny and tastes like summer.

  26. @Meredith – you can also put a large glass measuring cup (I have a 4 cup one) underneath your colander, and save some water when you’re straining your pasta instead. I never thought of dipping a cup in the water as I’ve always done this!

  27. Thanks so much for this recipe! I love Boursin! We usually enjoy it with a nice loaf of French bread, but over pasta sounds amazing! I had never thought to use it in a recipe! Thanks for helping me decide what to make for dinner tonight:)

  28. Merideth– I use a Pyrex measuring cup (the 2 cup one) because it has a handle and makes it easy to submerge in the bubbling water!! :)

  29. Here in Europe they also sell “Boursin Cuisine”, meant to be used as a base for sauces etc. The secret’s out :-)

  30. What’s the best way to save pasta water and not burn yourself?

  31. A few of my very favorite foods, all wrapped up in one?! Perfection!

  32. How did you know I had a package of Boursin cheese in my fridge, waiting for its purpose. Here it is! Thank you!

  33. This is mac and cheese for grown-ups with a veggie boost. I have some Laughing Cow that needs to get used so I’ll be trying this for dinner this week. I don’t have any peas, but I have corn.