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Easy Coconut Milk Rice (2-Ingredient Rice Cooker Recipe)

Need an easy weeknight side dish idea? This simple coconut milk rice recipe is a total family favorite. Savory, with a very mild coconut flavor, it’s also the perfect base for tacos, fried rice, meal prep bowls, and more!

coconut milk rice in a blue and white bowl topped with chives

Coconut Milk Rice

Let me introduce you to what is probably the single most-often-prepared side in my kitchen: coconut milk rice! Hands down, it was the dish that I missed the most when we did a Whole30. Seriously… not cheese, not cream in my coffee, not bread, not even chocolate — it was this EASY COCONUT RICE.

I’m certain some of you are shaking your heads right now, saying, “Ugh, I hate coconut.” To that I say, TRY IT before you write it off! This coconut rice doesn’t have an in-your-face coconutty taste. It’s just slightly creamy, almost buttery, with a savory flavor that has just the barest hint of sweetness. In fact, if you didn’t already know it has coconut milk in it, you’d probably never be able to guess the “special” ingredient.

coconut milk rice recipe made in a rice cooker

Coconut Rice With Coconut Milk

Coconut rice is an ideal meal prep recipe. 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 around here. I make a big batch at least once a week in my rice cooker. But don’t worry if you don’t have one, I’ve got stovetop instructions for you, as well!

In fact, my teenage boys ask for it by name. They heat it up in the stove top and douse it with sriracha sauce for an after school snack. And I don’t even complain about it… Because it’s a relatively frugal recipe. And I’m telling you, I’m ALL about saving money on food wherever I can, because these boys can EAT! Plus I know it’s super quick and easy to make another batch.

cooking rice in coconut milk served in a blue and white bowl

Cooking Rice in Coconut Milk

NOTE: To be clear, when it comes to cooking rice in coconut milk, I’m referring to the coconut milk that comes in a can, NOT the refrigerated coconut milk beverage. That’s a totally different animal and will produce very different results.

The full fat canned variety is my coconut milk of choice, but the light version can be substituted without affecting the outcome. I buy it by the case at Costco (along with rice because we make this so often!), but you can also find it with the Asian ingredients at any grocery store.

coconut rice recipe served in 3 bowls topped with chives

Coconut Milk Rice Recipe Variations

We never get bored with this coconut rice recipe, because it’s super flexible. Some variations to try:

  • Swap the jasmine rice for your favorite brown rice (here’s mine).
  • Use coconut water instead of tap water for a stronger coconut flavor. Or stir in a cup of toasted coconut!
  • Add the zest and juice of two limes, plus chopped cilantro to taste, and you’ve got a coconut cilantro rice that rivals Chipotle’s cilantro lime rice. (Honestly, I think coconut lime rice is even BETTER!)
  • Eat it plain or use it as a base for tacos or burrito bowls.
  • Make the best ever fried rice with it.
  • Use it in your favorite meal prep recipes.

I could keep going on and on and on. Whatever you use it for, just try it — and then come back to let me know what YOU think!

P.S. Looking for a flavorful brown rice recipe that makes tender and fluffy brown rice with perfect results every single time? This Instant Pot brown rice is THE ONE!! And if you’re just looking for another way to use your rice cooker, try this easy coconut quinoa.

three bowls of coconut milk rice, an easy meal prep recipe

Easy Coconut Milk Rice

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 33 minutes

Need an easy weeknight side dish idea? This simple coconut milk rice recipe is a total family favorite. Savory, with a very mild coconut flavor, it's also the perfect base for tacos, fried rice, meal prep bowls and more!



  1. Shake up the can of coconut milk before opening. Combine coconut milk, water, rice, and salt in the bowl of your rice cooker.
  2. Set the rice cooker to the quick cook setting and start the cycle. If your rice cooker does not have this setting, just use the shortest setting available.

Stovetop Coconut Milk Rice: To cook this coconut rice on the stove top, combine the ingredients above in a large pot and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 22 minutes.


*Don't use the measuring cup that comes with your rice maker, as it's typically smaller than a standard 8-oz. cup.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 servings Serving Size: 3/4 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 241Total Fat: 9.1gSaturated Fat: 7.5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 278.7mgCarbohydrates: 35.3gFiber: 0.5gSugar: 0.6gProtein: 3.8g

Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

Have you tried this recipe?

Leave a comment below and share a photo on Instagram. Tag it @unsophisticook and hashtag it #unsophisticook!

Easy Dinner Recipes To Serve With Coconut Rice:

These simple dinner dishes pair perfectly with this fluffy coconut rice recipe:

  • This delicious spicy shredded Instant Pot salsa chicken recipe is equally perfect for weeknight dinners and weekend meal prep Just 4 ingredients and under 40 minutes prep to table!
  • This copycat Chipotle slow cooker beef barbacoa recipe smells ah-mazing and tastes even better! Perfect for tacos, burrito bowls, tostadas, and so much more…
  • With only 6 ingredients, these Asian meatballs are easy to make and a total crowd pleaser… Finished in the slow cooker, they perform double duty as a game day appetizer or as an easy weeknight dinner when served over coconut milk rice!
  • This grilled honey lime chicken recipe is my favorite way to get out of a chicken breast rut! Flavorful and juicy, thanks to a simple 5-ingredient honey lime marinade…

Did you make this recipe?
Tag @unsophisticook on Instagram and hashtag it #unsophisticook.


Monday 8th of May 2023

Kosher salt or regular table salt ? Please advise. I SOOOO want to make this rice in my rice cooker soon.

Tara Kuczykowski

Tuesday 9th of May 2023

Hi Jan - just regular table salt. Hope you love it!


Friday 17th of March 2023

My rice cooker is on the small side - max is 3cups. So I swapped to stovetop and am patiently waiting for it to come to a boil .... A chefs I once worked with made this simple delight for over 120 guests. I hope mine tastes as good. BlueSkies, T


Monday 27th of February 2023

This was SO delicious! I made it to have with seasoned black beans and chicken basil sausage and I think that’s our new favorite quick meal. I was nervous that the rice would come out mushy but it was perfect. I have an Aroma rice cooker and just used the white rice setting for the Jasmine rice and followed the directions exactly and am very impressed.


Thursday 21st of July 2022

Absolutely the best son was just eating it out of the pot right after even stays moist in the fridge and reheats BEAUTIFULLY!! This doesnt have a big coconut flavor and is not sweet...just added that would go without about everything.

Tara Kuczykowski

Thursday 21st of July 2022

All reasons why we love it so much, too! My nephew HATED rice until he tried it, and now he asks my sister-in-law to make it at least twice a week…


Friday 6th of May 2022

I just made this for the first time, mis-read the instructions and used 1 cup of coconut milk + 2 cups water instead of 1 can + 2 cups water! But it still turned out delicious and texture was just right. A keeper recipe :)

Tara Kuczykowski

Saturday 7th of May 2022

So glad it still turned out, Judy!

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