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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!

Ingredients

Instructions

  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.

Notes

*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.

judy

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!

Laurie Farber

Sunday 1st of May 2022

What is the Instant Pot recipe? I don't have a rice cooker, just the instant pot.

Lynn

Saturday 30th of April 2022

Hi Tara, Is it 2-rice cooker cups (3/4c) or 2-standard measuring cups (8oz)?

Lynn

Sunday 1st of May 2022

@Tara Kuczykowski, Amazing rice dish, my whole family loves it!! It turned out perfectly. So glad to have found your site. Thanks for everything Tara (live in Ohio and also OSU Buckeye fans!!)

Tara Kuczykowski

Saturday 30th of April 2022

Great question -- it's 2 standard 8-oz. cups for a total of 16-oz. of rice. It never occurred to me that someone might mistake it for the cup that comes with the rice maker. Now I'm wondering if that's why it didn't turn out for KC?

KC

Tuesday 29th of March 2022

This recipe does not work on the zojirushi rice cooker. Recipe needs manipulating for this rice cooker. Came out soggy and coconut milk was sitting on top.

KC

Tuesday 12th of April 2022

@Tara Kuczykowski, I have the Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy NS-ZCC10. Yes, I did stir it. I also said I would try it again and I keep forgetting to get more coconut milk. I will use less coconut milk next time and update you on the status.

Thank you

Tara Kuczykowski

Tuesday 29th of March 2022

Hi KC! Can you share which Zojirushi model you have? I have the Zojirushi NS-YAC18 Umami Micom 10-cup rice cooker, and I've made this recipe in it at least a hundred times without any issues. Also, did you stir it before starting the quick cook process? This is one of the first recipes I shared on my site, so it may be that the instructions need updated to clarify that.

Jenn

Monday 16th of November 2020

Is it 2 cups of water AND a whole can of coconut milk? My rice came out soaking in liquid. Do you recommend a specific setting on the rice cooker? I have a Korean Cuckoo. Thanks!

Tara Kuczykowski

Monday 16th of November 2020

Hi Jenn! Yes, that's correct -- one can of coconut milk + 2 cups of water. I'm sorry it didn't turn out for you, but I'd love to help you troubleshoot it. I have a Zojirushi rice cooker and use the quick cook setting when making it. I'm not familiar with the Cuckoo brand, but I just looked it up. It's hard to say without knowing which model you own, but I notice that some have a turbo setting, which seems like it would be equivalent. I also notice that some have a high pressure/no pressure setting option. I do make this recipe in my Instant Pot, and when I do, I reduce the water to 1 cup (so one can of coconut milk + 1 cup of water) due to the high pressure closed cooking environment. Can you tell me more about which setting you used when you made it?

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