Sep 24

Coconut Milk Rice with Cilantro & Lime

Coconut Milk Rice

I'll be honest -- meal planning is not one of my virtues. Oh, I have grand intentions, but I'm sadly lacking in the execution department. Most nights it's a game time decision based on whatever's available and thawed in the refrigerator, which gets the job done, but it's obviously not my ideal situation...

So I've been doing a lot of research on how others handle meal planning. I do feel like being successful with meal planning requires a personal customized approach that can only be reached through trial and error, and that's my plan for the next month or so -- to try various meal planning techniques in the hopes of coming up with a solution that works for me personally. My goal is to share my findings, both the successes and the failures, with you all, and hopefully you all have some suggestions to share, as well!

Coconut Rice

In the meantime, I'd like to share one of my favorite easy weeknight side dishes, this delicious coconut rice recipe. I make a big batch of coconut milk rice at least once a week right in my rice cooker. We like it both hot and cold, and it keeps well in the refrigerator for up to a week, though it rarely lasts that long.

Have you ever cooked with coconut milk? Coconut milk rice really doesn't have an overwhelmingly sweet and coconutty flavor like you're probably imagining right now -- it's just rich and filling, with a bit of creaminess to it.

To be clear, I'm referring to the coconut milk that comes in a can, not coconut water or coconut milk beverages, which are totally different. I typically pick it up at Walmart, and you'll find it with the Asian ingredients.

Coconut Milk Rice with Cilantro & Lime

My favorite way to serve coconut milk rice is with a little lime and cilantro stirred in. It's similar to Chipotle's cilantro lime rice, only better!

Coconut Milk Rice with Cilantro & Lime

Yield: 7 1/2 cups

Coconut Milk Rice with Cilantro & Lime


    For coconut milk rice:
  • 2 1/2 cups jasmine rice
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 3 1/4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • For cilantro lime rice:
  • 2 small limes
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped


    For coconut milk rice:
  1. Shake up the can of coconut milk before opening. Combine coconut milk, water, rice and salt in a rice cooker. I've found that the quick cook setting works best for me. If your rice cooker does not have this setting, just use the shortest setting available.
  2. To cook it on the stove top, combine the ingredients above in a large pot and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 22 minutes.
  3. For cilantro lime rice:
  4. Wash limes thoroughly. Zest and add both the zest and juice to the cooked rice. Add the chopped cilantro and stir to mix thoroughly.

A few of our favorite main dishes that pair well with this coconut milk rice are my slow cooker beef barbacoa, honey lime grilled chicken, and grilled shrimp tacos. These are all go-to meals that I intend to rely on frequently when menu planning.

I've started a Menu Planning Ideas board on Pinterest to keep track of articles and resources to refer back to while I'm trying to figure this whole thing out. If you have links or resources that you're interested in sharing, please leave them in the comments or send me an email -- I'd love to add them!

Do you make a weekly menu plan? If so, do you have any tips, articles or resources to share that have helped you?

Walmart Moms Disclosure

by Tara | 12 comments

  • Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch

    Mmmm!!! This sounds great! I would love some right about now!!!

  • Brenda @ a farmgirl’s dabbles

    I love adding different flavors to rice - love this one with coconut! (And I want the lime and cilantro, too!)

  • GJ

    Wow!!!!!! I am so trying this...... My children and I love the rice from Chipotle and this seems similar. You have great simple dishes.... Thanks

    • Tara @ Unsophisticook

      Thanks, GJ! It is very similar to Chipotle's rice, with a little added richness from the coconut milk. I actually like it better!

  • Bobbi

    I'm confused as to whether the limes and cilantro are to be added before or after the rice is cooked. Sounds great!

    • Tara @ Unsophisticook

      Sorry if that's unclear, Bobbi. The lime juice and cilantro are optional and should be added to the cooked rice if desired.

  • Shanna

    This recipe sounds amazing. Please clarify a few questions. First, how many ounces of coconut milk are in the can you use? Also, since I have only California calrose rice on hand instead of jasmine, are the proportions of water and coconut milk consistent? Lastly, I don't have any limes but I do have lime juice. How much lime juice do two small limes produce? I know I'll be missing the zest but I'm not a huge fan of it. Does the zest greatly impact the flavor? Thank you very much!

    • Tara @ Unsophisticook

      I typically use Thai Kitchen Organic Coconut Milk that comes in a 13.66-oz. can. I really like the flavor of lime, so that's why I include the zest, but you can definitely leave it out. If you're substituting lime juice for fresh limes, I'd go with about 3 tablespoons. If you leave out the zest, you may want to give it a taste and add another tablespoon of juice if necessary.

      As far as using Calrose rice goes, it's actually not a variety I've tried, but I think you should be able to go with the same ratios. If you have a chance, please come back and share your results!

  • Shanna

    It turned out great! I served it with your Honey Lime Chicken (that marinated for well over 24 hours due to circumstances) and candied carrots. Calrose rice produces a very sticky yield not dissimilar from sushi rice. The Wal-Mart in Fairbanks doesn't 't carry the Thai Kitchen Organic Coconut Milk. But thankfully they had Imperial Dragon Coconut Milk in a 13.5-oz. can. Other than that, I opted to make the recipe as it is written with the fresh lime juice and zest. When I said I didn't care for zest I think what I meant was, "I have bottled lime juice on hand, I've never zested anything before and I'm scared." I am so glad I faced my fear and bought a zester today. I thought the lime flavor might have been a bit strong but my boyfriend said it complemented the other flavors nicely. Dinner was a huge hit. Thank you!

  • Coconut Milk

    Oh, thank you very much for posting this! It is going to aid me when I research Coconut Milk at the grocery store! So Cool!

  • Rolanda Hansler

    Can you use coconut milk in the carton? My husband is lactose intolerant and drinks coconut milk that I buy at Kroger.

    • Tara @ Unsophisticook

      Hi Rolanda -- great question! Refrigerated coconut milk is more of a beverage than a cooking ingredient. It's been watered down and usually has other additives, including sweeteners. I'd definitely recommend sticking with the canned variety for this recipe.

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