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How to Make My Favorite Coconut Rice

My absolute favorite, creamy coconut rice made with four 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.

Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
30 mins

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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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coconut rice in a bowl with cilantro and lime wedges

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!

white rice in a bowl

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.

pouring coconut milk into a pot to make coconut rice

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

  1. Combine the ingredients. You’ll add the rice, coconut milk, water and salt to a medium pot and bring it all to a boil.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Fluff & serve. After 10 minutes, fluff the rice with a fork and serve it with your fav meals!

creamy coconut rice in a pot

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.

easy coconut rice in a pot with a fork

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!

coconut rice recipe in a bowl with cilantro and lime wedges

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.

easy coconut rice in a bowl with cilantro and a fork

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:

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

5 from 4 votes
coconut rice in a bowl with cilantro and lime wedges
Course Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Side Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian
Cuisine American
Keyword coconut rice, how to make coconut rice
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Serves 8

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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Combine rice, coconut milk, water and salt in a medium pot, and bring to a boil.

  2. 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.

Recipe Notes

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

Nutrition
Servings: 8 servings
Serving size: 1 serving (based on 8)
Calories: 325kcal
Fat: 17.5g
Saturated fat: 15g
Carbohydrates: 38.8g
Fiber: 1g
Sugar: 1.3g
Protein: 4.3g

Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats

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