These tasty coconut milk recipes go way beyond Thai curry or rice pudding.
This incredible, vegan-friendly “milk” can be used as a milk substitute in everything from pancakes and frosting to soup and pasta sauce.
Not only that, but it’s available in a number of styles.
I like to use the unsweetened kind for my coffee, while coconut cream makes my sauces extra thick and silky smooth.
Even if you’re not lactose intolerant or looking for something vegan, coconut milk is a tasty and healthy option to regular milk.
It’s also great for those allergic to almonds and needing a nut milk alternative.
Whether you’re cooking for some vegan friends or just looking for some dairy-free dishes for yourself, I know you’ll find a few great options on this list of 30 coconut milk recipes.
1. Homemade Coconut Milk Recipe
The truth is: dairy-free milk is more expensive than regular milk.
But did you know you can actually make most of them at home for a fraction of the cost?
I’ve been making oat milk for a while now, and it tastes just like the store-bought stuff.
For this coconut milk recipe, you’ll need shredded coconut (the recipe calls for unsweetened, but it would work just as well with the sweetened kind) and a decent blender.
Put the coconut and water in the blender and let it blitz until it’s thick and creamy. Strain the mix to get rid of any lumps and enjoy!
2. Creamy Coconut Milk Steel Cut Oats
Sure, you can make oats with water, and it will taste fine (if a little lackluster). But there’s nothing like a bowl of creamy oats to start your day.
Using coconut milk will give you that same rich flavor and texture, plus a little flavor boost to boot.
Using a slow cooker will leave you with such a great texture, but it does take a little longer. An Instant Pot has this ready in just 20 minutes!
3. Coconut Flour (and milk!) Pancakes
Coconut flour is gluten-free, and coconut milk is dairy-free, making this a killer combo!
And there’s no way you would know these aren’t your normal buttermilk stack.
They’re super fluffy, and the only real difference is that you’ll need extra eggs in here because coconut flour is extra absorbent.
One thing to note is that these aren’t overly sweet, and the recipe uses just a little maple syrup as opposed to a ton of sugar.
I recommended trying the recipe as is and then adjusting to your liking once you see how they taste.
4. Coconut Milk French Toast
Though this recipe is dairy-free, it does still include eggs, which means it’s not vegan-friendly.
I recommend using full-fat coconut milk or even coconut cream to make sure the custard is as thick and creamy as possible.
5. Coconut-Lime Dressing
When the temperatures get warmer, I like to eat lighter meals.
That’s why I love this simple noodle salad with a creamy and refreshing coconut-lime dressing.
All you need to do is whisk everything together until it’s smooth and emulsified, then pour right over your cooked noodles and shrimp (or chicken).
6. 30-Minute Coconut Curry
I don’t think I’ve ever made curry without coconut milk. It’s creamy and has just the right level of sweetness to cut through the spice.
The best part about this recipe is that it uses lots of veggies, so it’s super flavorful and full of texture.
It’s also nice and easy, using a bit of curry powder and cayenne rather than a long list of spices.
7. Maple Pecan Vegan Bread Pudding
Making vegan bread pudding requires a couple of extra steps, but it’s so worth it in the end.
Normally, you would mix eggs with milk and sugar, pour the mixture over stale bread, and let the oven do the work.
Here, though, you’ll make a vegan custard using coconut milk and cornstarch, getting it nice and thick before you pour it over the bread and bake.
This way, you’ll guarantee a creamy custard finish.
8. Coconut Milk Thai Iced Coffee
If you’ve ever tried Thai iced coffee before, you’ll know it’s ultra-rich, thanks to the condensed milk.
Well, this recipe is just as rich and creamy. You’ll just need to make your own condensed coconut milk. Don’t worry; it’s super straightforward.
It needs to be brought to a boil and then simmered for around 30 minutes until it’s thick, then add your extras.
This recipe calls for maple syrup, cardamom, and almond extract, but I like brown sugar and vanilla.
9. Anything-You-Have Coconut Curry Soup
Per the name, this coconut curry soup can be made with almost anything.
I love that it uses full-fat coconut milk for richness and then thickens that up with pureed veggies (so clever, btw!).
As for the toppings, fried tofu will give you some amazing texture.
Just remember to get the extra firm kind and be sure to “press” out all the excess liquid.
You can do this simply by putting the block on a plate and adding some weight on top. Pat it dry and cut into cubes for the crispiest tofu ever!
10. Easy Coconut Chickpea Curry
Between the garlic, onion, ginger, garam masala, turmeric, black pepper, cayenne, and tomatoes, this curry is brimming with incredible flavor.
Canned chickpeas will make this recipe go a lot faster, but if you want to save a little money, feel free to use dried.
You’ll just need to soak them overnight and rinse thoroughly before adding them to the pot.
11. Starbucks Pink Drink Recipe
What was originally a secret menu item (though I’ve never figured out how people know about those), this pink drink has no doubt been all over your Instagram feed in the last few years.
It’s clear why. Just look at how adorable that thing is!
But that’s not all. The strawberries, passion fruit, and coconut milk blend is beyond irresistible.
When I’ve already had my caffeine for the day, there’s nothing better to cool down with than this sweet treat.
12. Sweet Potato Coconut Curry Soup
This soup is a fantastic blend of savory, sweet, and just the right amount of spicy.
Since it includes sweet potatoes, it’s naturally sweet, but the spices give it a lovely savory note too.
Of course, coconut milk is needed for that rich and creamy texture, and you can always cut back on the spices if you don’t like it too hot.
13. Coconut Creamed Corn
Creamed corn is the perfect side to everything from chicken to ribs, and it’s a cinch to make!
This recipe is especially scrumptious because it includes garlic, lemongrass, ginger, and jalapeños.
I like to use these spice bags in recipes like this so you don’t have to fish around for loose garlic cloves.
14. Vegan Alfredo Sauce With Coconut Milk
Other than coconut milk, there are three ingredients here that you may not have at home but that are essential.
First, tapioca starch is used to thicken the sauce and give it a cheesy texture.
Next, nutritional yeast gives the sauce a wonderful umami flavor along with a touch of cheese (without adding real cheese).
Last, liquid smoke will help to emulate a smoked cheese. Just don’t use too much! This stuff is pretty strong.
15. Thai Broccoli Soup With Coconut Milk
I can’t get over how vibrant and fresh this soup is. And it’s all-natural, too!
If you prefer your soup with a bit of texture, try scooping some out before you blitz it.
That said, this is very thick, and a few crispy shallots on top should be more than enough.
Between the jalapeño, lime, lemongrass, and ginger, this definitely isn’t your usual broccoli soup.
But it will warm you up on a cold day just as well.
16. Coconut Curried Greens (30 minutes!)
Collard greens are a member of the cabbage family, though they’re extra dark and hold their shape much better when cooked.
They’re a little like a cross between kale, chard, and spinach, all of which would make great substitutes in this recipe.
Using coconut milk will give them a bit of creaminess, which helps to cut through the slight bitterness of the greens.
17. Malaysian Curry Tofu
I know it’s in the title, but you can swap out the tofu for cauliflower here if you want. That’s what I did, and it was delicious!
Also, you don’t need to make tofu balls if you don’t have the time.
Just go ahead and use regular extra firm tofu and fry it up (after pressing the excess liquid out, of course).
18. Coconut Rice
Hands up if you struggle to cook rice to perfection?
I don’t know what it is, but I always end up with something super dry, or mushy, or even burned.
Hopefully, this recipe can end our rice woes!
You’ll start by rinsing the rice until the water runs mostly clear. This removes the starches and any dirt from the outside.
Next, you’ll need to soak it for around 20 minutes before cooking.
The last step is to use both coconut milk and water for cooking your rice because coconut milk doesn’t absorb fully.
19. Thai Red Curry with Vegetables
I must make this once a week: it’s colorful, tasty, and ready to eat in just 40 minutes.
As much as I love homemade curry, when I’m in a rush, I’m more than happy to take a shortcut and use curry paste (and even when I’m not in a rush!).
The rice from above would be perfect with this or feel free to use noodles if you like those better.
20. Thai Pumpkin Soup with Coconut Milk
Just like sweet potato and coconut milk go hand in hand, so do pumpkin and coconut milk.
Since pumpkin isn’t quite as sweet, this soup has a more savory taste, which pairs just right with the lemongrass and ginger.
Since we like spicy things in my house, I added a tablespoon of red curry paste to the onions and garlic.
It gave the whole thing a wonderful warmth and lovely red hue.
21. Creamy Coconut Lentil Curry
I never liked lentils until I tried them in curry. What a game-changer!
I always knew they were good for us; I just never enjoyed the texture too much.
In curry, they turn lovely and tender and soak up so much incredible flavor.
You’ll use canned tomatoes to speed things up, and the most you need to do here is babysit the pot.
Once you’ve softened the onions and toasted the spices, it’s just a matter of stirring everything a few times to keep it from catching on the bottom of the pot.
22. Coconut Buttercream Frosting
Regular American buttercream isn’t my favorite thing in the world.
I almost always use Swiss meringue or cream cheese frosting when I’m baking because I’m not a huge fan of all that butter.
This recipe is similar to American buttercream; only it uses coconut milk (or cream for added richness and flavor).
It’s silky smooth and pipes like a dream.
Plus, it holds its shape perfectly, and the subtle coconut flavor works well with pretty much any flavor cake you have.
23. Coconut Strawberry Banana Smoothie
Strawberry and banana are hands down, my favorite flavor combination. It’s close to perfect and great in ice cream, smoothies, and cakes.
When I make smoothies, I like them to be thick and creamy, which usually involves milk (or ice cream if I’m feeling extravagant).
A nice vegan alternative is, of course, coconut milk.
Although this recipe calls for crushed ice, I don’t like to water my smoothies down.
So, I either chop up and freeze the fruit or freeze coconut milk in ice cube trays.
24. Thai Mango Coconut Pudding
There’s no better fruit than mango. It’s sweet, sticky, soft, bright, fresh, and just as great in a cake as it is in a taco.
Since finding this recipe, I think I’ve made it twice a week, every week, and I’m still not sick of it.
Between the sensational mango flavor and the wonderful creaminess of coconut milk, this might just be the perfect dessert!
25. Coconut Rice Pudding: Disney Cruise Copycat Recipe
What makes this rice pudding better than all the other rice puddings out there?
Well, it contains four different kinds of milk, for one thing: coconut, regular, condensed, and heavy cream.
So, it’s not exactly a healthy recipe! But it is insanely rich and creamy and totally addictive.
The golden raisins are optional, but I think they add something special to the mix (especially if you soak them in rum first!).
26. Coconut Milk Hot Chocolate Recipe
Can we all agree to stop buying those packs of cocoa? You know, the ones with all the sugar and zero real chocolate flavor?
I mean, when it’s this easy to make something from scratch, why wouldn’t you take the extra few minutes and make something superior?
Feel free to use any kind of milk in this recipe, but coconut does add another level of richness to the drink you just won’t get from almond milk.
27. Coconut Ice Cream
Four ingredient vegan ice cream that doesn’t need an ice cream maker? This might be dangerous!
All you need to do is blend everything together and freeze it in ice cube trays. Then, once it’s solid, blend it like you would banana ice cream.
Eat it right out of the blender, or pop it in the freezer for later.
28. Banana Tapioca (Che Chuoi)
This unusual dessert is equal parts creamy, sweet, and chewy, thanks to the banana, coconut milk, and tapioca pearls.
If you’ve never cooked with tapioca before, I recommend making a small “test” batch first.
Some people find they stick together or overcook, so try a small amount first to see how they do before adding too many to the pot.
Once you get the hang of it, this quick little treat is such a fun and different option for a hot summer night when you just want something cool and sweet.
29. Creamy Coconut and Mixed Berry Popsicles
Speaking of cool sweet treats for hot summer nights, it doesn’t get any better than these gorgeous coconut and berry pops!
You can blend the berries with the coconut milk if you want the whole thing creamy, but I just adore this color contrast.
Plus, you get the option of having a bite of the creamy end or a fresh pop of tart berries.
30. Coconut Tres Leches
Tres leches will always be a fan fave. It’s sweet and creamy and full of flavor. Not to mention it’s insanely moist!
If you wanted to really boost that coconut flavor, you could make coconut condensed milk and use that instead.
But between the coconut milk and shredded coconut, I think it’s plenty flavorful.
Or, you could use whipped coconut cream in place of regular whipped cream.
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