Easy Coconut Rice is a really simple recipe made with just 5 ingredients in 30 minutes. Toasted jasmine rice simmered in coconut milk with a pinch of salt to make the perfect side dish!

Coconut Rice is one of my all-time favorites, but if you’re looking for more easy side dish recipes check out my Garlic Parmesan Roasted Broccoli, Baked Potato Bar, or Crispy Air Fryer French Fries!

coconut rice

Easy Coconut Rice

Coconut Rice is a really simple Asian recipe that uses jasmine rice, coconut milk, salt, and water. I like to use a trick I learned making basmati rice, which is to toast the rice in a little bit of butter beforehand. It brings out some of the aromatics in the rice, and adds a deeper flavor. You can use canola oil if you don’t have butter on hand. It’s also really important to use the canned coconut milk, because it’s different from what you find in a carton.

coconut milk rice

How to Make Coconut Rice

Coconut rice is really simple to make, and you can use this method to make most types of rice by swapping out the coconut milk with water.

  • Add rice to a large bowl. Fill with water, swish the rice around, then pour the water out. Repeat a few more times, until water is mostly clear.
  • Over medium-high heat, add butter to a saucepan until melted. Add the rice and stir continuously for a minute or two, until it’s lightly toasted and aromatic.
  • Stir in coconut milk, water, and salt until well combined. Bring the rice to a boil, then lower heat to bring it to a simmer and cover, stirring occasionally. After about 10 minutes, move the lid so some steam and escape and remove from heat.
  • Once all of the liquid is absorbed, fluff the rice and serve.

Should you rinse rice?

Yes, you should rinse your rice. Rinsing the rice removes starch from the grains, which can cause your rice to become too sticky or gooey. Simply measure out your rice, place it in a bowl, and fill the bowl with water until it is just over the rice.

Swish the rice around with your hand until the water is cloudy, then pour out the water (place your hand in the way to keep the rice from pouring out, too), and repeat until the water is almost clear. This step is important, so your coconut rice doesn’t turn out too sticky!

Why did my rice burn to the bottom of the pan?

If your rice burned to the bottom of the pan, there could be a few reasons this happened. The first is that you didn’t rinse the rice, or rinse it enough. You need to get that starch off of the grains to get it to cook correctly.

Or, your pan was too hot for too long. Make sure once it starts boiling, you stir it and turn the heat as low as possible before covering it. I’ve even covered the rice and removed it completely from the heat if I had enough time and other things to prepare while the coconut rice cooked.

how to make coconut rice

Tips for Making Coconut Rice

  • I like my coconut rice more on the savory side. Add salt and pepper to taste to make savory coconut rice. To make sweet coconut rice, you can add a teaspoon of granulated sugar to this recipe.
  • You can also make this recipe with white rice, brown rice, or basmati rice.
  • I have never tried this with instant rice, so if you try that one, let me know how it goes.
  • After the rice is cooked, top with shredded coconut, fresh cilantro, and lime juice for extra flavor.
  • This coconut rice goes great with fish, shrimp, or chicken recipes. Try pairing it with your favorite Thai or other Asian recipe.
  • I don’t recommend using light coconut milk for this coconut rice recipe, because the fat from the coconut adds a lot of flavor to the dish.
  • Canned coconut milk separates in the can. Stir it a little bit before adding it to the rice. This is normal and expected, don’t worry if it looks separated.

What to Serve With Coconut Rice

coconut rice

Easy Coconut Rice

Easy Coconut Rice is a really simple recipe made with just 5 ingredients in 30 minutes. Toasted jasmine rice simmered in coconut milk with a pinch of salt to make the perfect side dish!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Asian
Author: Jacqui
Yield: 6 servings


  • 3 cups jasmine rice, uncooked, rinsed
  • 2 (14 oz) cans coconut milk, (full fat)
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ tsp salt


  • Saucepan


  • Over medium-high heat, melt butter in saucepan. Add rice and stir until lightly toasted, 2-3 minutes. Stir in coconut milk, water, and salt until well combined.
  • Bring rice to a boil, then stir and turn heat down to a low simmer. Cover pot and let rice cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Move lid slightly to let some steam escape and turn heat off completely. Let rice sit an additional 10 minutes, or until liquid is completely absorbed. Fluff with a fork before serving.


Click on the time in the instructions to start a timer!


Calories: 372kcal (19%)Carbohydrates: 74g (25%)Protein: 7g (14%)Fat: 5g (8%)Saturated Fat: 3g (19%)Cholesterol: 10mg (3%)Sodium: 204mg (9%)Potassium: 106mg (3%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 1g (1%)Vitamin A: 118IU (2%)Calcium: 29mg (3%)Iron: 1mg (6%)
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