I’ve been loving sharing some of my go-to, simple side dishes with you for easy weeknight meals. Dinnertime is always a fun challenge trying to wrangle Sidney and feed Viggo at the same time, so quick and nourishing side dishes like my favorite coconut rice recipe have been staples in our house.
Not only does this creamy coconut rice take under 30 (hands-off) minutes to make, but it’s also filled with slightly sweet flavors that pair so well with savory main dishes. We love serving this rice with any type of protein, but be sure to get even more ideas for pairings at the bottom of the post! Trust me, you’re going to LOVE this one and probably make it weekly.
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The magic of coconut rice
If you’ve never infused your regular side of white rice with coconut, you’re in for a delicious surprise. This coconut rice recipe:
- Has a wonderful, creamy texture that’s fluffy at the same time
- Is naturally a little sweet from delicious coconut milk
- Makes the perfect side dish that’s easy to customize with even more flavor variations!
Everything you’ll need to make the best coconut rice
Good news: this easy coconut rice recipe requires just four simple ingredients! You’ll want to make this one again and again to pair with your favorite main meals. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Jasmine white rice: I love using jasmine rice for the perfect, fluffy texture. You can also use brown rice but note that it won’t be as fluffy.
- Coconut milk: I like to use full fat coconut milk from the can because it’s super creamy and has the perfect amount of sweetness.
- Water: to thin out the coconut milk you’ll also need a little water.
- Salt: season your coconut rice with just a bit of salt.
Simple ingredient swaps
While this simple coconut rice recipe uses just four ingredients, here are a couple swaps you can make:
- For the rice: feel free to also use white basmati rice.
- For the coconut milk: you can also use lite coconut milk from the can — the rice will just be a little less creamy & flavorful. I would not suggest using almond milk or coconut milk from a carton.
The key to creamy coconut rice
If you want the perfect creamy coconut rice, remember to let it steam after it’s done simmering. You’ll want to leave the lid on your pot, remove the whole pot from the heat and leave it be for about 10 minutes. This will let the rice steam, reduce any leftover liquid and create the best texture.
How to cook the best coconut rice
- Combine the ingredients. You’ll add the rice, coconut milk, water and salt to a medium pot and bring it all to a boil.
- Cover & simmer. Once everything is boiling, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and reduce the heat to low so that the rice simmers for 15 minutes.
- Steam it. As I mentioned above, this is the key to super fluffy coconut rice! After 15 minutes take the pot off of the heat and let the rice steam for 10 minutes without opening the lid.
- Fluff & serve. After 10 minutes, fluff the rice with a fork and serve it with your fav meals!
Add fun flavors
This coconut rice is a wonderful base for adding even more delicious flavors! Here are some of our favorites:
- For a sweet option: add 1 tablespoon of sugar.
- Tropical & fruity: add 1 diced mango or 1 cup diced pineapple.
- Cilantro lime: add ¼ cup chopped cilantro + 1 lime, juiced.
- Turmeric ginger: add 1 teaspoon ground turmeric + ½ tablespoon freshly grated ginger (or sub ½ teaspoon ground ginger)
- Curry flavored: add 1 tablespoon curry powder.
Easily make a smaller batch
Cooking for just one or two? Feel free to halve the batch to serve just a couple of people or meals. You’ll then just need 1 cup rice, 1 can of coconut milk, ¼ cup water and a pinch of salt. Easy!
Storing & freezing tips
Coconut rice is the perfect side dish for meal prep because it’s super easy to store and you can even freeze it for later!
- To store: let the coconut rice cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container or bag. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days, and simply reheat it in the microwave before serving.
- To freeze: let the coconut rice cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe, airtight container or bag. Freeze the coconut rice for up to 3 months. To reheat, let the rice thaw in the refrigerator before reheating it in the microwave. If the rice appears dry, simply reheat with a bit of water.
What to eat with coconut rice
This easy, creamy coconut rice is probably my favorite side dish EVER to pair with meals. Here are some of my go-to’s:
- Firecracker Chicken Meatballs
- Healing Lemongrass Chickpea Thai Green Curry
- Kung Pao Chickpea & Brussels Sprouts Stir-Fry
- One Pan Ginger Chicken Meatballs with Peanut Sauce
- Serve it with Delicious Grilled Tofu
- Sheet Pan Moroccan Chicken with Sweet Potatoes & Cauliflower
- Ginger Cashew Chicken Stir Fry
- Mango Chicken Stir-Fry
- Slow Cooker Yellow Chicken Curry
Get all of our delicious rice recipes here!
I hope you love this delicious coconut rice recipe! If you make it be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked it. Enjoy, xo!
How to Make My Favorite Coconut Rice
My absolute favorite, creamy coconut rice made with three simple ingredients for the best side dish! This easy coconut rice recipe is ready in just under 30 minutes and is delicious paired with your favorite meals like salmon, stir frys, curries and more.
- 2 cups jasmine white rice
- 2 (15 ounce) cans full fat coconut milk (can also use lite coconut milk from the can)
- 1/2 cup water
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Combine rice, coconut milk, water and salt in a medium pot, and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, cover with a tight-fitting lid, reduce heat to low and simmer rice for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove from heat (keep the lid on -- DO NOT OPEN), and allow rice to steam for another 10 minutes, then fluff rice with a fork. Serve with your favorite meal such as salmon, stir fry, etc.
To make a smaller batch: simply use 1 cup rice, 1 can coconut milk, ¼ cup water, pinch of salt and that’s it!
To store: let the coconut rice cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container or bag. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days, and simply reheat it in the microwave before serving. See the full blog post for freezing instructions.
Sweet: add 1 tablespoon of sugar
Fruity: add 1 diced mango
Cilantro lime: add ¼ cup chopped cilantro + 1 lime, juiced
Turmeric ginger: add 1 teaspoon ground turmeric + ½ tablespoon freshly grated ginger (or sub ½ teaspoon ground ginger)
Curry: add 1 tablespoon curry powder
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats
Is it possible to make this with rice that is already cooked? I need to use some up and this sounds like a delicious way to amp up the flavor.
I haven’t tried that! But I think you could probably reheat the cooked rice in a pot with a little bit of coconut milk stirred in 🙂
Great idea!! The rice was creamy and yummy!! I added Curry powder and loved it!!
Thanks for the inspiration!!
That’s such a brilliant idea to add curry powder! So happy you loved it 🙂
If we were to use brown rice, how would you recommend adjusting the amount of liquid and/or cooking time? This looks super tasty but I’d love to sneak some more fiber in to try to bring down the net carbs a bit. Also, I am assuming that the serving is about half a cup? Thank you for helping to try to fit this into my diabetic diet!
Hi, Lauren! I don’t think you need to adjust the amount of liquid, but you can check your rice package to see what they recommend. This recipe is about 2:1 liquid to rice. And the serving is about 3/4 cup cooked rice, but that may vary if you use brown.
Love this and we’ve made it a couple times a month since you posted it. My husband asked me to only make rice like this moving forward, haha. I use regular white rice and have to cook it a bit longer to get it fully cooked but we love it. Thanks for posting.
This rice is so amazing! When I make salmon or chicken it has become an easy awesome side dish. My husband and sons have been loving it, they think it’s a gourmet meal! Thank you for all the hard work that you and your team do Monique, especially now that you have a growing family.
Love this blog so much! I check it weekly for different recipe ideas. Especially love the desserts and vegetarian options. I wonder if this could be made in the instant pot? Love a set it and forget it option!
Aw thanks so much, Amanda, I’m so glad you’re inspired! I think that should work well! I’m not sure on the exact ratios of liquid to rice, so I’d check out other Instant Pot rice recipes to see if you should adjust it at all 🙂
I never made coconut rice before but this was really great! I was bold and threw it in my rice cooker but used the white rice setting which I think is a little short. I ran the rice cooker on that setting 3 times and it turned out fine! I will probably stick with the pot on the stove method next time. I’m assuming the heavier liquid takes a little extra oomf to absorb. But no complaints here. Very tasty rice and my 1 year old annihilated it. Served with the pineapple broccoli stir fry!
I love coconut rice…could this be made in an instant pot and if so how would you adjust the recipe? Thanks so much
Yes I think so, but I haven’t tested it so I’m not exactly sure, sorry!
Literally my favorite rice now!! Sooo yummy I love it
Aw I’m so glad to hear that!! Thank you!
Am I able to use coconut milk from the carton? If so, how much would you recommend?
Hi, Izabela! I’d recommend canned coconut milk which has a higher fat content and (in my opinion) a much nicer flavor. The carton kind will technically work but it just probably won’t give the same flavor/texture to the rice.
I used basmati rice instead of jasmine, and it came out really gluey for me. Not fluffy at all. I’m not sure if the type of rice made a difference or not. The flavor was delicious though. If I try this again I may use Lite coconut milk and see if it absorbs a little better.
Sorry to hear that! Let me know how the light coconut milk works.
OMG! That coconut rice is everything!! I really loved this recipe the only reason I gave it 4 instead of 5 is because the sauce did not work out, but it might be my fault. I could not get a clump-less slurry going so the sauce ended up being really thin because I just took out the chunks of cornstarch. But the flavor was still great and honestly the meatballs were so good on their own. Tripled the meatballs, 5x the sauce, doubled the rice. Now my fridge and freezer is happy :). THANK YOU!
Isn’t that rice magical!? I eat it with everything!!
And thanks for the note about the cornstarch — it can help to use your fingers to break up any clumps before stirring it in 🙂
Delicious! I made half recipe using 1 cup jasmine rice and 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk and 3/4 cup water. It was perfect!” I sprinkled in a little cardamom since the chicken I served it with was spiced with cardamom.
Oooh the cardamom addition sounds incredible! Thank you for sharing! Happy it turned out great 🙂
The best rice ever! The texture is so smooth and creamy and the flavor is addicting. I make a batch of it every week since it goes with everything. My favorite is to pair it with salmon and avocado peach salsa (also ambitious kitchen).
I actually really loved this with short grain brown rice! I made it in my Instant Pot so I had to adjust the measurements since it needs less liquid.
For anyone who wants to try it this way – I used 1 cup of rice, 1 cup of light coconut milk (didn’t have any full fat), 1/3 cup of water, and 1/4 tsp salt. I used the manual setting and cooked it for 23 minutes, then 5 minutes natural release. It turned out great!
So easy and flavorful! I added finely diced red bell pepper and pineapple that I sauteed a bit, and the juice from half a lime and fresh cilantro. Can’t wait to try this with other additions.
Yum! Sounds delicious, Candi. Glad you are enjoying this recipe, easy and delicious 😊
I don’t know what I did wrong! I followed the recipe to a “T”, even setting timers and my rice was not cooked all the way. At all. I couldn’t even serve it with my tiki masala chicken. I was so excited to try this! The only thing I can think of is that my lid may not have been tight enough on my pot, so it did not steam all the way. I am going to try it again and see where I can improve!
Hmm this is so interesting.. Was all the liquid absorbed? If not, you might want to let it steam a little longer
Beware! Unfortunately, this did not work for us. The rice in the bottom of the pot burned to black within just a couple of minutes after the coconut milk came to a boil, and after we completed the recipe, the rest congealed into clumps.
Perhaps this requires a rice cooker to do well.
No, you shouldn’t need a rice cooker. Sounds like you may have kept your burner on too high or left the pot on the burner after the 15 minutes. Rice can be tricky!
This sounds delicious! can you make it in an instant pot? I’ve never had luck with rice other than in an instant pot.
I have not tested this recipe in the instant pot, so I am not sure how it would work, especially the time the rice needs to cook. Let me know if you do give it a try!
This recipe is delicious and easy. We served it with MahiMahi for our dinner club. Thanks.
This sounds SOOO good! I’m wondering if I added pineapple, if I could substitute pineapple juice for the water… Sounds yummy, right? I’ll try it and let you know!
Yum, totally let me know how this turns out!
I made this and it was so delicious that I shared it on FB. I did the sweet version and used more sugar. Thank you!!
Love that! Glad you enjoyed!