Coconut Rice

8 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Sit 5 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes

Coconut Rice is an easy, fluffy, slightly sweet side dish that pairs perfectly with any number of your favorite weeknight dinners.

This easy Coconut Rice recipe makes an easy Side Dish that you can serve instead of regular white rice or Brown Rice. It goes great with tropical flavors, Indian dishes, and seafood

Coconut Rice in serving bowl

Fluffy Coconut Rice is made with just a few basic ingredients. All you need is Jasmine rice, rich coconut milk, sugar, salt, and some water. The coconut milk brings the natural coconut flavor to the dish. As the ingredients cook together the rice absorbs the sweet coconut flavor. The finished product is a sticky, slightly creamy rice dish with a subtle sweetness that’s absolutely delicious! 

Coconut Rice is a traditional dish that can be found in many cultures, essentially anywhere that coconuts grow. Because of this, there are plenty of cuisines that you can serve with a side of Coconut Rice. Sweet Coconut Rice is perfect to serve with Asian food, seafood, classic tropical dishes, and more. 

Coconut Rice ingredients

One of my favorite ways to enjoy this Coconut Rice dish is with curries. The mild, creamy coconut flavor perfectly balances out the spicier dish making it an ideal side dish. Try the sticky rice with Chicken Curry, Thai Green Curry, or Japanese Chicken Curry

You can also use Coconut Rice to replace sticky white rice in your favorite Chinese dishes like Orange Chicken, Kung Pao Chicken, or Crispy Sesame Chicken. There’s really no end to the delicious ways that you can serve this easy rice dish!

Coconut Rice ingredients in cooking pot



  • Boil: Add the long-grained Jasmine rice, water, sugar, canned coconut milk, and kosher salt all to a medium saucepan. Turn the stovetop to medium heat to bring the mixture to a boil. 
  • Cook: As soon as the coconut mixture is boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low. Put a fitted lid over the saucepan, and continue to cook on low for 18-20 minutes. Do not remove the lid during that time, or the steam will escape and the temperature in the pot will drop. Keeping the heat inside is what cooks the rice all the way through to the middle of the grain.
  • Set: After cooking, turn off the heat and uncover the rice. Let it sit for 5 minutes before you fluff the Coconut Rice and serve with your dinner. 
Coconut Rice in serving bowl


  • Toasted coconut rice: One variation of Coconut Rice that’s easy to try is adding in some toasted coconut. You can toast your own coconut by laying coconut flakes out on a baking tray. Then put them in a 350-degree oven for 2 minutes to crisp up. Keep in mind that coconut will burn quickly, so you may want to keep your eye on them. Set the toasted coconut flakes to the side while you make the Fluffy Coconut Rice, then mix the flakes in before serving. 
  • Coconut and lime rice: For a tart, citrus flavor, you can add some lime juice to the rice. 1 teaspoon lime juice and 1 zested lime would be plenty. You can also toss in 4 teaspoons of shredded cilantro for an even more fresh flavor. Garnish the rice bowls with lime wedges and serve. 
  • Pineapple and coconut rice: Adding pineapple is a great option if you’re serving the rice with a tropical dish. Simply mix in ½ cup diced pineapple. You could also toss in a dash of soy sauce to play off of the sweet and tangy flavors. 
  • Spices: For more flavor additions, try mixing in different spices. Cumin, garlic, paprika, parsley, curry powder, or red pepper flakes would all bring a delicious flavor to the Coconut Rice. 
Coconut Rice in serving bowl closeup



  • Serve: After the cooking time, you don’t want to leave Fluffy Coconut Rice at room temperature for more than 2 hours. 
  • Store: Let it cool down, then transfer the rice to an airtight container to store in the fridge for 3-4 days. 
  • Freeze: For meal prep, you can also seal the rice to store in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

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Coconut Rice

Coconut Rice is an easy, fluffy, slightly sweet side dish that pairs perfectly with any number of your favorite weeknight dinners.
Yield 8 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Asian
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 2 cups uncooked jasmine rice
  • 14 ounces coconut milk , full fat
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  • Add rice, coconut milk, water, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer on medium-low heat.
  • Cover and cook for 18-20 minutes.
  • Let sit uncovered for 5 minutes with the heat turned off before serving.


Calories: 268kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 47mg | Potassium: 162mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 2mg
Coconut Rice collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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  1. In my country, no sugar is used for coconut rice. We use pandanus leaves, lemon grass, coconut milk, a teaspoon of sesame oil, 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds, salt, cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom. Makes the rice very very delicious.

    1. Hi Cat, You are right! Recipe card typo has been corrected. Sit uncovered for 5 minutes before serving. Thank you!