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35+ Easy Coconut Milk Recipes

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Have a can of coconut milk on hand? Coconut milk can be used in place of milk or cream in a variety of dishes. Learn about the many uses of coconut milk and find some delicious coconut milk recipes right here!

Coconut milk is probably in my top three pantry staples. It is an extremely versatile ingredient that works for use in both sweet and savory recipes. Whether as a vegan or dairy-free alternative to replace milk in recipes or as the star of the show, you can use creamy coconut milk in baking recipes, desserts, sauces, and main dinner dishes like coconut curries, to make rice — you name it! Its creamy texture and natural sweetness will elevate it all!

Coconut Milk FAQ

What is coconut milk?

Coconut milk is the liquid extracted from the flesh of ripe coconuts. 

Is coconut milk the same as coconut water?

No. Coconut water is a clear liquid that comes only from the center of green coconuts.

Is coconut cream the same as coconut milk?

Yes and no. Coconut milk and coconut cream are derived in much the same way, however, coconut cream is much more concentrated and higher in fat. They can be used interchangeably in most recipes.

What can you do with coconut milk?

  • Thicken soups, curries, and sauces.

  • Use as a coffee creamer.

  • Mix into smoothies.

  • Make ice cream or yogurt.

  • Make coconut whipped cream.
  • Can you drink canned coconut milk?

    Yes. Canned coconut milk is perfectly safe (and delicious!) to drink.

    Do you need to cook canned coconut milk?

    No. Once you open a can of coconut milk, you can use it in both cold or hot dishes or drink it as is.

    Do you taste the coconut in dishes that use coconut milk?

    It depends on whether you are using coconut milk. If you are using coconut milk in recipes that are raw or cold, you are more likely to detect a slight coconut flavor. If you use coconut milk in cooked food, the taste of coconut milk will grow less and less throughout the cooking or boiling time.

    Can you save an open can of coconut milk?

    Yes. I do not advise storing coconut milk in a can in the fridge, but you can transfer leftover coconut milk to an airtight storage container and store it in the fridge for up to 10 days.

    What is coconut milk powder?

    Coconut milk powder is dehydrated coconut milk that you can mix with water to make coconut milk. You can use this as a replacement for canned coconut milk or coconut milk that comes in a carton.

    What kind of coconut milk should I buy?

    Full-fat coconut milk that comes in cans in the grocery store is the most useful form of coconut milk you can buy. Coconut milk that comes in cartons has more water content, therefore it is not as thick, creamy or flavorful as the canned variety.

    Top Pick
    Native Forest Simple Organic Unsweetened Coconut Milk Native Forest Simple Organic Unsweetened Coconut Milk

    Our favorite creamy coconut milk to use in recipes!

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    35+ Easy Recipes With Coconut Milk

    Adzuki Bean Curry
    An incredibly flavorful coconut curry broth enveloping adzuki beans makes for one filling and healthy meal when served alongside rice or quinoa. This Adzuki Bean Curry is vegan and gluten-free.
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    azuki curry in cast iron pan
    No-Churn Vegan Chocolate Pistachio Ice Cream with Caramel Sauce – Calm Eats
    This No-Churn Vegan Chocolate Pistachio Ice Cream with Caramel Sauce is a delightful treat that’s decadent and easy to make.
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    Zucchini Curry
    It’s time to change up your summer squash routine! Check out this easy zucchini curry recipe with coconut milk and Indian spices.
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    Vegan Yogurt Recipe – A Virtual Vegan
    An easy cultured vegan yogurt recipe that’s smooth, tangy, exceptionally thick & creamy & just perfect for dolloping on anything and everything! Easy to make with or without an Instant Pot.
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    How To Make Coconut Milk Kefir
    DIY Coconut Milk Kefir is a simple recipe that helps heal the gut and add a delicious bit of flavor to your favorite smoothie.
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    Vegan White Chickpea Chili
    This vegan white chili with chickpeas is quick and easy to make, packed with a bit of spice, filling, comforting, and super nutritious! Naturally gluten-free.
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    Coconut Sticky Rice Dessert Sushi – Fearless Dining
    Dessert sushi is fun and easy to make! The whole family will love to try fruit sushi! It is a fun way to make mango sticky rice.
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    Easy Whipped Vegan Frosting (Paleo, Keto-Option) – Calm Eats
    This Easy 4 Ingredient Whipped Vegan Frosting takes just minutes to make, is versatile, customizable, and perfect for cakes, cupcakes, and everything in between.
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    Easy Whipped Vegan Frosting (Paleo, Keto-Option) - Calm Eats
    Creamy Vegan Potato Soup
    This creamy Potato Soup can be made in the Instant Pot or on the stovetop for ease and convenience! Make it vegan or vegetarian. Naturally gluten-free. This delicious recipe can also be found in my cookbook The Vegetarian Family Cookbook.
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    hands holding a bowl of creamy vegan potato soup
    Dairy-Free Creamy Raspberry Hibiscus Popsicles – Calm Eats
    Here is a creamy and delicious raspberry popsicles recipe sweetened with delightful hibiscus-infused honey.
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    Dairy-Free Creamy Raspberry Hibiscus Popsicles - Calm Eats
    How To Make Coconut Whipped Cream – Strength and Sunshine
    Learn how to make coconut whipped cream with just 3 ingredients! An easy, light, fluffy keto & vegan whipped cream you can make in 5 minutes!
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    Butternut Squash Coconut Curry Rice Noodle Soup
    An incredibly flavorful, healthy, filling, and comforting Butternut Squash Coconut Curry Rice Noodle Soup! This gluten-free and vegan comfort food dish is big on coconut, curry, and ginger flavors all with a bit of spice. Perfectly tender rice noodles are the perfect accompaniment for this scrumptio…
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    Butternut Squash Coconut Curry Rice Noodle Soup
    Date Caramel – Refined Sugar & Gluten Free – A Virtual Vegan
    Thick, luscious, creamy & sweet Date Caramel. No cooking is involved & it can be ready in minutes!
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    Date Caramel - Refined Sugar & Gluten Free - A Virtual Vegan
    The Best Gluten-Free Cornbread
    A super easy, healthy and delicious Gluten-Free Cornbread recipe that also happens to be vegan, dairy-free and egg-free!
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    Vegetable Korma Recipe
    A delicious Vegetable Korma Recipe packed with flavorful spices, veggies and a super creamy base. Serve this over rice or quinoa for a wholesome vegetarian and vegan meal. Naturally gluten-free.
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    Vegan Coconut Coffee Breakfast Shake (Gluten-Free) – Strength and Sunshine
    A satiating and hunger-crushing recipe for the best Vegan Coconut Coffee Breakfast Shake! When you’re rushing out the door, but still need morning fuel to keep you going all day, this gluten-free, healthy high fat, sneaky protein smoothie is just what you need (with a caffeine kick)!
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    Vegan Coconut Coffee Breakfast Shake (Gluten-Free) - Strength and Sunshine
    Air Fryer Hush Puppies
    I’m heading back to my Southern roots with this healthy air fryer spin on Hush Puppies! They are super tasty, easy to make + gluten-free & vegan.
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    air fryer hush puppies in a white bowl
    Thai Tomato Soup – i Heart Vegetables
    This Thai tomato soup is made with rich coconut milk and Thai red curry paste for a soup that is creamy, spicy, and loaded with flavor. Topped with fresh cilantro and crushed red pepper flakes, you’ll want to come back for seconds!
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    Double Coconut Caramel Cookie Dough Ice Cream (Vegan, Gluten-Free)
    An easy, creamy and delicious Double Coconut Caramel Cookie Dough Ice Cream. A delightful vegan coconut ice cream base made with sweetened condensed coconut milk is studded with tasty and chewy gluten-free coconut caramel cookie dough bites in this frozen treat perfect for summer or any time of the…
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    Coconut Mashed Sweet Potatoes – Running on Real Food
    This vegan coconut mashed sweet potatoes dish still gives you that marshmallow-on-top dessert-feel of holiday sweet potatoes but instead of marshmallows, they’re topped with insanely delicious maple pecan sauce. The whipped sweet potatoes also have some cinnamon, maple syrup, sea salt and coconut milk mixed in for a fun coconut twist and loads of cozy, delicious, perfect holiday flavour.
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    Cashew Carrot Ginger Soup (Vegan)
    A deliciously creamy Vegan Carrot Cashew Ginger Soup quickly and easily made as a dump and start recipe for the Instant Pot or on the stovetop. Vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free and refined sugar-free.
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    Coconut Pineapple Frozen Yogurt | Tropical Piña Colada – XOXO Bella
    This coconut pineapple frozen yogurt is for you and it’s the best frozen yogurt recipe I’ve made in a while. If you have always wanted to make froyo or frozen yogurt in an ice cream machine, then test the waters with this tropical piña colada frozen treat.
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    The Best Vegan Corn Chowder • Happy Kitchen
    Incredibly creamy vegan corn chowder recipe ready in under 30 minutes. This smoky corn chowder is made of corn, zucchini, bell peppers, potatoes and millet.
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    Coconut Milk Kefir Cherry Ice Cream (vegan, paleo, keto & body ecology) – My Tiny Laguna Kitchen
    Coconut Milk Kefir Cherry Ice Cream (vegan, paleo, keto & body ecology) is the perfect summertime ice cream recipe to cool down & is filled with probiotics.
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    Overnight Coconut Buckwheat Porridge {HOW-TO Video} – Foolproof Living
    Jazz up your breakfast porridge game with this overnight coconut buckwheat porridge! Made with coconut milk, buckwheat groats, and chia seeds, this simple breakfast will help you get a healthy start to your new day.
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    Thai Coconut Iced Tea – Renee’s Kitchen Adventures
    Brewed tea combined with a little sweetener and full fat coconut milk makes a refreshing drink for your summer mornings or a wonderful afternoon pick me up!
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    Vegan Savory Coconut Pasta – Zardy Plants
    Creamy, luscious, and delicious, this Vegan Savory Coconut Pasta is an incredibly easy 20 minute dinner, perfect for weeknights or date night.
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    Tropical Smoothie Recipe – Dinner at the Zoo
    This tropical smoothie recipe is a blend of tropical fruit and coconut milk – it’s cool, refreshing and packed with flavor and nutrients!
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    Dairy Free Coconut Custard – What The Fork Food Blog
    Dairy free coconut custard is an easy creamy, dreamy dessert. This pudding/custard can be eaten by itself or be used in place of regular pastry cream.
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    Dairy Free Coconut Custard - What The Fork Food Blog
    Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie (Vegan, Dairy-Free)
    This gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free pumpkin pie recipe is easy, healthy and positively SCRUMPTIOUS! Coconut milk adds extra creaminess in this perfect autumn pumpkin pie recipe. As shown with my favorite sorghum flour pie crust!
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    Savory Coconut Rice – Little Sunny Kitchen
    Fluffy, aromatic and perfect savory coconut rice. Made with jasmine rice, coconut milk and salt, this coconut rice goes so well with curries and stir-fries!
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    Savory Coconut Rice - Little Sunny Kitchen
    Mexican Vegan Strawberries and Cream – Conflicted Vegan
    Simple Mexican inspired Strawberries with Cream also known as Fresas con Crema an easy dessert made with store bought vegan ingredients.
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    Thai Curry Mac and Cheese {DF GF} – V Nutrition and Wellness
    This Vegan Thai Red Curry Mac and Cheese is the ultimate comforting fusion! The creamy sauce, made from cashews & coconut milk, includes Thai red curry paste for a new twist on vegan mac and cheese.
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    Creamy Coconut Popsicles – MyYellowApron
    Dessert tropical Dessert no cook Dessert summer recipe Creamy Coconut Popsicles no cook coconut popsicles recipe MyYellowApron creamy coconut
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    Creamy Coconut Popsicles - MyYellowApron
    Curry Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk – The Forked Spoon
    Smooth, creamy and loaded with all the flavors of spiced curry, your whole family will love this healthy and delicious Curry Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk.
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    Curry Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk - The Forked Spoon
    Paleo Ranch Dressing (Dairy-Free + Whole30) – Peas and Crayons
    Ditch the sketchy processed bottled dressing and whip up this super quick, super easy, homemade paleo ranch dressing! This tasty coconut milk ranch is vegetarian and Whole30 compliant too!
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    Paleo Ranch Dressing (Dairy-Free + Whole30) - Peas and Crayons
    Crumbly Vegan Coconut Fudge – Delightful Adventures
    This vegan coconut fudge is not your typical fudge! It’s crumbly, decadent, and melts in your mouth. It’s a great food gift to give during the holidays.
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    Crumbly Vegan Coconut Fudge - Delightful Adventures

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    35 Easy Coconut Milk Recipes

    35+ Easy Coconut Milk Recipes – Butternut Squash Curry Noodle Soup & More!

    Have a can of coconut milk on hand? Coconut milk can be used in place of milk or cream in a variety of dishes. Learn about the many uses of coconut milk and find some delicious coconut milk recipes right here!
    5 from 1 vote
    Print Pin Rate
    Course: Dessert, Entrées, Side Dish
    Cuisine: American
    Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 10 minutes
    Resting Time: 10 minutes
    Total Time: 30 minutes
    Servings: 2 people
    Author: Kristen Wood

    Ingredients

    • 2 tbsp coconut oil
    • 1/2 onion chopped
    • 5 garlic cloves minced
    • 2 tbsp curry powder
    • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
    • 1 tsp ground turmeric
    • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
    • 1/4 tsp red chili flakes
    • 2 cups butternut squash cubed, fresh or frozen
    • 1 can full fat coconut milk + 3 cans water
    • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro chopped
    • 7 oz rice noodles approx. 1/2 package
    • 1 tsp lemon juice
    • to taste sea salt
    • Garnishes: chopped fresh cilantro and freshly shredded carrots

    Instructions

    • In a large pot over medium heat add coconut oil, onion and garlic. Saute for 5 minutes.
    • Stir in spices and sugar. Cook while stirring for 2 minutes.
    • Stir in squash. Cook for 1 minute longer.
    • Pour in your can of coconut milk, and then fill the can with water, adding 3 cans of water to pot.
    • Stir in cilantro.
    • Turn heat to high, cover, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer.
    • Simmer for 10 minutes.
    • Stir in rice noodles and lemon juice. Salt to taste. Cover, turn off heat and let sit for 10 minutes (or until noodles are tender) before serving.
    • Optionally garnish with fresh cilantro and shredded carrots before serving.
    • Enjoy!

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1serving | Calories: 610kcal | Carbohydrates: 114g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 209mg | Potassium: 728mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 15044IU | Vitamin C: 36mg | Calcium: 138mg | Iron: 4mg
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    4 Comments

    1. Such a great collection of recipes! I just made the Creamy Vegan Potato Soup, and it came out great! There really is something for everyone in this list!

    2. So many great ways to use coconut milk! I always have a couple cans of it in my pantry, so this is perfect. I never thought to use it in cornbread!

    3. I would have never thought you could make so many great dishes with coconut milk. Fabulous collection!

    4. I love coconut milk and these recipes are such creative and fun ways to use one of my favorite ingredients! I can’t wait to try the Coconut Sticky Rice Dessert Sushi – it looks amazing!