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Dive into our quick and flavorful Coconut Rice recipe, a versatile side dish that complements any main course perfectly. Lightly sweetened and creamy, it can be made on the stovetop or in your rice cooker.

Saucepan with homemade coconut rice topped with toasted coconut and sliced green onions.
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Why You’ll Love This Coconut Rice Recipe

  • Popular in global cuisine. Coconut Rice holds a unique place with its blend of rich, creamy flavors and delicate fragrance. This popular dish, synonymous with Asian and Caribbean cuisines, transforms simple rice into a side dish that holds its own.
  • It’s rice cooker friendly. While you can certainly cook it on the stove, and I will include directions for doing just that, a rice cooker takes all the guesswork out of the process, knowing exactly when the rice is ready.
  • Quick, simple, and easy to follow. There are only 5 ingredients that are commonly found in pantries, plus only 3 steps. The whole dish is done in under 30 minutes, and most of that is hands off.
  • Authentic flavor, and extra coconut. It’s made with coconut milk, and real shredded coconut for an authentic flavor.


  • Jasmine rice – The most commonly used for this recipe.
  • Coconut milk – Make sure to get coconut milk and not coconut cream. There is a big difference.
  • Sugar – I added just a teaspoon of granulated sugar
  • Cilantro – Or you can use parsley if you prefer.
  • Shredded coconut – I really love fresh shredded coconut so I added just a little to the rice. It’s optional so you can go with your preference.

How To Make Coconut Rice

See the recipe card below for full, detailed instructions

There are two ways you can make this rice recipe – in the rice cooker or on the stovetop. I’ve included both instructions in the recipe card below, but we prefer the rice cooker because it senses when the rice is done, which makes it so easy!

Mesh sieve with wet rice.

Start by rinsing the rice through a fine mesh sieve. While you can still cook rice without rinsing it first, it’s highly recommended to keep the rice from sticking together.

Rice Cooker Instructions

  1. Put all the ingredients in your rice cooker, set to the “white rice” setting and hit start.
  2. Once the rice is done cooking, fluff it with a fork and stir in the shredded coconut.
Rice, water and coconut milk in a saucepan.
Rice finished cooking in a saucepan.

Stovetop Instructions

  1. Bring ingredients to a boil in a saucepan.
  2. Reduce heat and cover the pan. Cook for 20 minutes. Resist the urge to lift the lid.
  3. After 20 minutes, check that the water has been fully absorbed, fluff the rice with a fork and stir in shredded coconut.

How To Serve

While the obvious would be to pair this side dish with South Asian, Caribbean, Hawaiian, and other tropical cuisines, don’t limit yourself!

Garnish with toasted coconut and sliced green onions and serve with:

Serving rice into a wood bowl with a wooden spoon.


What is the best type of rice to use for Coconut Rice?

Jasmine rice is commonly used due to its fragrance, which pairs beautifully with the rich flavors of coconut milk.

Can I use any type of coconut milk?

Full-fat canned coconut milk is recommended for its creaminess and intense coconut flavor.

How do I prevent the rice from getting too sticky?

Ensure you rinse your rice thoroughly before cooking to remove excess starch, which can make the rice too sticky.

What can I add to the rice to enhance the flavor?

You can add ingredients like lime zest, diced mango, diced avocado, fresh cilantro, or diced pineapple for a tropical twist.


How to Store: Cool rice completely, then store in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag and refrigerate for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 3-4 months.

How to Reheat: You can reheat the rice in the microwave or on the stovetop. Add a few tablespoons of coconut milk or water to create steam and rehydrate the rice. Cover and heat on the stove over medium, or in the microwave at medium power, stirring frequently, until heated through.

Plates and bowl filled with coconut rice.

Helpful Tips

  1. Rinse rice thoroughly before cooking to remove excess starch.
  2. Use full-fat canned coconut milk for a creamier texture and more intense flavor.
  3. Don’t forget to season your rice adequately.
  4. For added fiber, consider using brown rice. On your rice cooker, select the brown rice function.
  5. Pair your with spicy or tangy dishes to balance the rich flavors.
  6. Experiment with different add-ins like diced pineapple or mango for a tropical variation.

More Rice Recipes

Coconut rice close up image.

Coconut Rice

4.63 from 8 votes
Coconut Rice is a fluffy, lightly sweetened side dish that can easily be made in your rice cooker or on the stovetop to pair with any protein.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 servings


  • 2 cups jasmine rice
  • 13.5 ounce can coconut milk
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro or parsley chopped (optional for garnish)
  • 2 tablespoons shredded coconut optional
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Rice Cooker method:

  • Rinse jasmine rice using a fine mesh sieve until water runs clear.
  • Place all ingredients except cilantro in a rice cooker and select “white rice.”
  • When the cycle is finished, fluff rice with a fork and stir in fresh chopped cilantro or parsley if desired.

Stovetop method:

  • Rinse jasmine rice using a fine mesh sieve until water runs clear.
  • In a 3 quart pot or saute pan, bring rice, coconut milk, water, salt and sugar to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Do not remove the lid during this time.
  • When water is fully absorbed, fluff rice with a fork and stir in fresh chopped cilantro or parsley if desired.


Calories: 387kcalCarbohydrates: 55gProtein: 6gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 14gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 410mgPotassium: 248mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 4IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 30mgIron: 2mg

Nutritional Disclaimer Kristin Maxwell of “Yellow Bliss Road” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. For accurate calorie counts and other nutritional values, we recommend running the ingredients through your preferred online nutritional calculator. Calories and other nutritional values can vary depending on which brands were used.

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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  1. Vance says:

    I made this and while it is tasty and smells delicious, it came out super mushy. I followed the rice cooker directions exactly, but ended up having to leave it on the keep warm setting for an additional 10 minutes. Any tips for next time?

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      Hi Vance, I can only think that appliances vary, and maybe this is why it was mushy. After the extra 10 minutes, was the texture better?

  2. Kartheek says:

    OK im drooling just looking at this! I can’t wait to try this recipe out! 🙂

    1. Kristin says:

      Thanks for stopping by Kartheek!

  3. Pris says:

    Should I add less water if I am using sushi rice?

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      I haven’t used sushi rice in this recipe. I would follow the ratios on the package.

  4. Amy says:

    I make this all the time in my rice cooker and LOVE it. Can I make it with brown rice?

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      I’m not a big fan of brown rice so I haven’t personally tried it. But if you do, let me know!

  5. barbara says:

    this is, hands down, the best rice i have ever had.

    thanks so much!

    1. Kristin says:

      You are so welcome Barbara! Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Howard says:

    It looks like a good recipe! I have a question on the rice measurement. Are you using 2 real cups of rice or 2 of the smaller “cups” – in reality about 3/4 of a cup – that comes with the rice ccooker?

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      Great question! I’ll add this to the post. I used a regular 1 cup measurement.

      1. Howard says:

        Thank you so much; I’m going to try this sometime this week.

  7. Hayley Broughton says:

    I’m pretty excited to try this!! I was wondering, would a bit of candied ginger go well in this? I was thinking to mince it and let it cook into the rice… thoughts?

    1. Kristin says:

      Interesting idea! I think you should try it!

      1. Karen koldyk says:

        I like adding a bit of lemon and fish sauce mmm so good