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Simple Coconut Rice Recipe

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This Coconut Rice is simple; full of fresh coconut flavor as well as shavings of unsweetened coconut which makes it a perfect side dish to many of your favorite meals. Basmati rice is used in our version to give it a nice texture that doesn’t take hours to achieve. Fragrant, flavorful, and perfectly creamy, this will be your new go-to side dish! 

A good meal is made better when you serve it alongside this simple Coconut Rice. You can make it to go with Indian dishes, Thai dishes and even your weeknight chicken too. The flavor from the coconut compliments a slightly spicy meat dish by taming the heat with its subtle sweetness and luscious creaminess.

Ingredients needed to make this recipe: Basmati Rice, Coconut Milk, Unsweetened Shredded Coconut, Salt, Butter Parsley/Cilantro (as garnish).

Coconut Rice in pot



coconut rice – the perfect side

I know the struggle when you are looking for something new to make to go with your weeknight dinner … trust me! Since I was young I have ALWAYS had a need for different, I cannot eat the same thing throughout the week and feel satisfied and that my friends is okay. The nice thing with this coconut rice is that, as I said, it goes with so many different cuisines AND can be upgraded for leftovers the next day without being the same.

I will actually eat this rice on its own that’s how tasty it is! When I was doing the photographs for this I kept taking spoonfuls and mmming, so much so that my hubby came to see what was so good (ha!). We almost didn’t have enough left for the Curried Chicken Casserole I was making for dinner…oops!

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Fluffy Coconut Rice

faq when making coconut rice

is it better to soak rice before cooking? 

In most recipes you will want to soak your basmati rice before using it, this will ensure a nice  texture and allows it to cook faster. Essentially what you are doing is removing some of the starchiness from the rice which makes it sticky. However, with our recipe for this Coconut Rice I prefer to give it a quick rinse under cold water and stir it around to remove some of the starch but not all! I prefer a bit of stickiness with this rice, but if you don’t then be sure to soak it for 20 minutes first.

can you precook rice?

Absolutely! If you cook your rice ahead of time be sure to allow it to cool completely and place it in an airtight container in the fridge. Generally we will use it within the day, and always heat it thoroughly before eating. Now you should know,  it will not taste the same as freshly cooked but it is still delicious! If you know you will be making your coconut rice ahead of time I suggest reserving 1/4 cup of the coconut milk and adding it in when you reheat it to bring back some of the creaminess.

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There is nothing more frustrating than your rice going down the drain when you are rinsing it off! We love the OXO Small Grains Rinsing Colander, which can also be used when soaking your rice (simply place it in a larger bowl and soak the rice in the colander, lift and drain).


coconut rice recipe 

Sweet Basmati Coconut Rice

Easy to make Coconut Rice is the perfect addition to your weeknight meals!
Course Dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine Asian
Keyword Basmati Rice, Coconut Rice, Easy Side Dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Rest (covered) 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6
Author Melissa


  • 1 cup Basmati Rice Rinsed
  • 1.5 cups Coconut Milk
  • 0.5 cup Water
  • 2 tbsp Butter (or margarine)
  • pinch Salt
  • 0.5 cup Shredded Coconut (unsweetened)


  • In a large saucepan combine the basmati rice with coconut milk, water and salt. Bring to a boil. 
  • Once a it comes to a rolling boil reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook 15 minutes and remove from the heat. 
  • Cover and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Toss with butter and shredded coconut. 


Rinsing the Basmati: 
*Run the rice under cold water in your small grains colander for a few minutes while stirring with your fingers. This allows some of the starch to rinse off. 

Be sure to let us know below how much you like this dish! We are always looking for feedback so we can keep making recipes you love. If you have a new recipe suggestion drop us an email:

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Recipe Rating


Thursday 30th of May 2019

I love a good coconut rice, it is so versatile and goes well with almost anything. I particularly love it with a nice Thai curry but goes well with any curry. Delicious. I am craving one right now.


Tuesday 28th of May 2019

I would love the enjoy this with curry chicken or chicken tikka masala. The coconut sounds like a delicious addition to the rice!


Tuesday 28th of May 2019

My favorite side dish! I love how easy and flavorful this dish is!


Tuesday 28th of May 2019

Another fabulous coconut rice recipe - I can imagine how much flavor there is. In fact, rice is my go-to side dish, so I already see so many ways I can use this recipe. Thank you!


Tuesday 28th of May 2019

Yay! The versatility of a good Coconut Rice is what makes it such a favorite side dish of so many! Enjoy

Dahn Boquist

Monday 27th of May 2019

Coconut is magical! I love this rice, it would go well with my teriyaki chicken tonight!


Tuesday 28th of May 2019

Coconut Rice is a DELICIOUS addition to chicken teriyaki!!! Enjoy <3