12 Creative Ways To Use Canned Coconut Milk

Coconut Milk


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Coconut Milk

Coconut Concoctions

Canned coconut milk is a more multifaceted ingredient than most people expect. While the obvious uses tend to go to curries, soups, and stews, there are so many great things to create with coconut flavor. Sick of skipping out on all those Thai Kitchen unsweetened coconut milk sales at the grocery store? Here are 12 ways to use canned coconut milk, featuring everything from frozen desserts to whipped potatoes. And, yeah, there are a few soups and curries.

Related: 25 Recipes That Transform Canned Soup Into a Meal

Chocolate chia seed pudding with strawberry.

Chili Choc Chia Seed Pudding

Chia seeds are hot these days. Packed with fiber, antioxidants, and other health benefits, they’re near the top of just about every superfood list. Here’s a good pudding simulation featuring lots of coconut milk and a nice kick from cayenne pepper.

Recipe: Delicious

Related: 40 Cheap and Easy One-Pot Meals

Thai Noodle Soup with Shrimp

Red Thai Curry with Veggies

I personally don’t even like coconut, but I’d drink a gallon of Thai curry. It’s not easy cooking Southeast Asian cuisine, as it requires so many layers of flavoring — but if you can pull it off, it’s worth it. Cookie and Kate’s recipe is an easy one.

Recipe: Cookie and Kate

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nasi lemak
nasi lemak by Gunawan Kartapranata (None)

Nasi Lemak

Coconut rice is a staple of Malay cuisine, and nasi lemak, the national dish, is one of the best ways to eat it. This recipe is Singapore-style, served with sambal, crunchy anchovies, and a fried egg.

Recipe: BBC Good Food

Homemade chai latte with cinnamon and star anise in white cup, dark background.

Coconut Chai Latte

How ‘bout a recipe in beverage form? For a twist on a chai latte, use coconut milk alongside a slew of spices like star anise, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom.

Recipe: Roti & Rice

tom kha soup
tom kha soup by su-lin (CC BY-NC-ND)

Tom Kha Soup

Chicken, mushrooms, Thai chilies, and coconut milk are the star of this classic Thai soup. Make this the next time you get sick and load it up with Sriracha. In my humble opinion, there is no greater cure for the common cold than a spicy bowl of tom kha.

Recipe: 40 Aprons

Lavender Creme Brulee

Coconut Crème Brûlée

OK, look, obviously you need a blowtorch. Don’t try to be cute and use a lighter or something. The top of a crème brûlée is oh-so-special and shouldn’t be trifled with. (Pro tip: If you don't have a blowtorch, you can put the crème brûlée under your oven's broiler, though be careful not to crack the dish.)

Recipe: Delicious

Singapore: Don’t Miss


Laksa slips under the radar when it comes to the best Asian soups, and that’s a huge shame. It’s absolutely incredible when done well, and though it needs lots of specialty ingredients, it’s more than worth it. There are lots of Asian grocery stores where you can find these ingredients for cheap; take a look at what stores are in your area.

Recipe: Feasting at Home

One Pan Coconut Chicken Curry and Rice

Curried Chicken and Garlic Golden Rice

Including coconut milk in rice is always a good call, but it sounds extra great in this recipe. Save some money by grabbing some all-in-one spice blends, rather than buying them individually.

Recipe: Delish

Daiquiri Popsicles

Lime and Coconut Ice Lollies

Here’s a fun one for warm weather, and it’s incredibly easy to make. Juice some limes, mix it with coconut milk, and freeze them up. Bonus points if you top it with toasted, shredded coconut when you’re done.

Save some money on this one and skip buying the popsicle mold. I’d suggest making them in an ice tray, wrapping the top securely with cellophane, and sticking little toothpicks in ‘em. Boom, popsicles.

Recipe: BBC Good Food

okinawa sweet potato
okinawa sweet potato by Alpha (CC BY-NC-SA)

Okinawa Sweet Potatoes

Kick Thanksgiving up a couple hundred notches by changing the mashed potato game. If you can get your hands on some purple Okinawa sweet potatoes and a little bit of organic coconut milk, you’re in business.

Recipe: The Spruce Eats

Tasty butter chicken curry dish from Indian cuisine.
Wail Aldukhairy/istockphoto

Indian Fish Curry

Though coconut milk isn’t often used in Indian curries, it’s a nice way to control the spice level and add a small amount of buttery warmth to the dish. This recipe for fish curry explains just how to use it.

Recipe: My Gorgeous Recipes

Rice Porridge

Turmeric Coconut Porridge

Turmeric coconut porridge couldn’t be simpler; throw some ingredients into a pot and you’re good to go. If I were you, I’d sacrifice quality by 15% and replace the whole vanilla bean with vanilla extract. Have you ever bought a vanilla bean? Those things are like designer handbags. Shockingly expensive.

Recipe: Delicious