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This Coconut Rice is bursting with coconut goodness and couldn’t be easier to whip up. Just pop it in the oven for a perfectly fluffy and shiny finish every single time. It’s foolproof and totally versatile—trust me, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it!

fluffy coconut rice in a black skillet topped with chopped cashews and fresh cilantro with lime and avocado on the side

Why you should try this recipe

  • A delicious alternative to steamed white rice – coconut rice is a staple side dish in many tropical countries around the world: South and Southeast Asia, South and Central America, East Africa, and the Caribbean, just to name a few. Stumbling upon coconut rice has been such an amazing culinary discovery, I make it at least once a week, served with mango salad, red cabbage slaw, cucumber salad, or just a simple sliced avocado.
  • Foolproof – this coconut rice is baked in the oven, the only method that yields amazing, consistent results EVERY TIME. Fluffy, glossy, and cooked to perfection! Stove-cooking coconut rice is, in my experience, hit or miss: mushy rice, unevenly cooked rice grains, and having to deal with a badly scorched base. This recipe skips all the drama with hands-off slow and gentle oven cooking.
  • No rice soaking – busy lives don’t always allow for taking an extra hour to soak rice. I prefer a quicker method consisting of placing the rice in a fine mesh strainer and thoroughly rinsing the rice under cold running water. A true time-saving technique.
  • Vegan and gluten-free – to accommodate diverse diets so that no one is left out.
raw basmati rice, lime, coconut milk, cashews, salt, green peppercorn and fresh cilantro on a dark grey surface

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The ingredients you’ll need

(Note: the full ingredients list, including measurements, is provided in the recipe card at the end of the post.)

  • Rice – I typically use basmati rice when making coconut rice, but jasmine rice or any long-grain white rice will work.
  • Full-fat coconut milk – I only use canned full-fat coconut milk (with at least 15 g of fat) for this recipe, and I recommend you do the same. Full-fat coconut rice imparts a true coconut flavor to the rice and makes it extra fluffy with the right amount of fat. Conversely, light coconut milk is too watered down and will barely impart any coconut flavor at all.
  • Pepper – fresh ground pepper cuts through the richness of the coconut milk and adds a delicious peppery kick that balances the flavors out. I used green pepper in this recipe, but feel free to use any pepper of your liking. Just make sure to ground it.
  • Fine sea salt – to season and enhance the flavors.

close-up of coconut rice with a lime wedge and fresh cilantro

Which bakeware should I use to make baked coconut rice?

I tested two options that work equally well:

  1. The first is using a 10-inch (26 cm) cast iron braiser with a lid.
  2. The second is using a ceramic baking dish covered with tin foil. I used an 11 x 7-inch (27 x 17 cm) rectangle ceramic dish here.
a braiser with a glass lif and a rectangle ceramic baking dish on a dark grey surface

How to Make Coconut Rice?

(Note: please see the recipe card below for the complete written instructions and measurements.)


  • Preheat the oven to 355°F (180°C) fan.

Rinse the rice thoroughly (without soaking).

  • Add the rice to a fine mesh strainer and rinse it under cool running water until it runs clear (about 1 minute). Let the excess water drain well into the sink.
  • Immediately transfer it to the baking dish.

Bring the coconut milk to a boil.

  • In a saucepan, add coconut milk, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil, stirring regularly to dissolve the salt.
  • From this point onward, act quickly: pour it over the rice and stir with a spoon to spread it evenly.

Note: As with all baked rice recipes, it is important to heat the liquid (here the coconut milk) before placing the rice in the oven. This way, the cooking process starts right away, ensuring perfectly cooked rice.


#1 If using a braiser, cover with the lid.


#2 Using a baking dish, tightly cover it with tin foil.


  • Bake for 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, if using, toast the cashew nuts.

  • In a small pan, add the cashew nuts. Toast over medium heat until golden, stirring from time to time to toast the cashews evenly. 
  • Transfer to a chopping board and roughly chop the cashews. Set aside.

Rest the rice and fluff it.

  • Take the coconut rice out of the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes without removing the lid/foil.
  • Using a fork, fluff the rice.

Note: Allowing the rice to rest helps finish the cooking while soaking up any moisture remaining on the surface of the grains.


Serve the coconut rice.

  • Top the rice with toasted cashews, chopped cilantro, and the juice of half a lime.
  • Enjoy with a glass of !
fluffy coconut riceblack skillet topped with toasted cashews and cilantro

Nim Keys – Useful Tips

  1. Rinse the rice – it helps make the cooked rice light, and fluffy with individually defined grains by getting rid of dirt and extra starch.
  2. Choose high-quality, full-fat coconut milk with at least 15g of fat – Fat retains flavors, so choose coconut milk with a higher fat percentage for the best coconut flavor. Most light coconut milk is almost just water, steer clear of it.
  3. Resting time – the 10-minute resting time is important: it allows the rice to finish cooking while soaking up any moisture remaining on the surface of the grains, resulting in wonderfully fluffy rice.

close-up if coconut rice topped with toasted cashews and cilantro

Wine Pairing🍷


CHARDONNAY

An oak Chardonnay is what to go for here. Round, with a creamy texture and some butteriness and nuttiness, it will complement this coconut rice wonderfully.

WINE APPELLATION SUGGESTIONS

  • Chardonnay wine from Napa Valley (California, United States)
  • White Mâcon (Burgundy, France)
  • Chardonnay from Margaret River (Australia)

a bowl of coconut rice with sliced avocado with toasted cashew, a lime wedge and fresh cilantro

FAQ

How long does it keep?

Coconut rice can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

How to reheat coconut rice?

With a microwave: remove the storage container’s lid and add 2 tablespoons for each cup of rice. Warm for 3-4 minutes or until heated through.
Without a microwave: either place the grains in a saucepan or spread them evenly in a nonstick pan, then drizzle with 2 tablespoons of water per cup of rice. Cover tightly and simmer over low heat until the water evaporates, for approximately 5 minutes.

What to serve with coconut rice?

I love serving it with a simple sliced avocado, mango salad, or red cabbage slaw for freshness and crunch. For a heartier meal, it accompanies Cauliflower Steak or Korean Scallion Pancakes (Pajeon) beautifully.

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close-up of coconut rice with a lime wedge and fresh cilantro

Coconut Rice

This Coconut Rice is bursting with coconut goodness and couldn't be easier to whip up. Just pop it in the oven for a perfectly fluffy and shiny finish every single time. It's foolproof and totally versatile – trust me, you'll wonder how you ever lived without it!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Resting time 10 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Asian, Carribean, South American
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings 6

INGREDIENTS
 

  • 2 cups (400 g) basmati rice (or jasmine rice)
  • 28 ounces (800 ml) full-fat coconut milk (2 cans)
  • 2 teaspoons (10 g) fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground green pepper

Suggested add-ins

  • ¼ cup (25 g) cashew nuts
  • ¼ cup cilantro chopped
  • the juice of a lime squeezed on top just before serving

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat the oven to 355°F (180°C) fan.

Rinse the rice thoroughly (without soaking).

  • Add the rice to a fine mesh strainer and rinse it under cool running water until it runs clear (about 1 minute). Let the excess water drain well into the sink.
  • Immediately transfer it to the baking dish.

Bring the coconut milk to a boil.

  • In a saucepan, add coconut milk, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil, stirring regularly to dissolve the salt.
  • From this point onward, act quickly: pour it over the rice and stir with a spoon to spread it evenly. Tightly cover it with tin foil or a lid.
  • Bake for 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, if using, toast the cashew nuts.

  • In a small pan, add the cashew nuts. Toast over medium heat until golden, stirring from time to time to toast the cashews evenly.
  • Transfer to a chopping board and roughly chop the cashews. Set aside.

Rest the rice and fluff it.

  • Take the coconut rice out of the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes without removing the lid/foil.
  • Using a fork, fluff the rice.
  • Serve with the otpional toastes cashews, lime juice, and chopped cilantro.

NIM KEYS – USEFUL TIPS

  1. Rinse the rice – it helps make the cooked rice light, and fluffy with individually defined grains by getting rid of dirt and extra starch.
  2. Choose high-quality, full-fat coconut milk with at least 15g of fat – Fat retains flavors, so choose coconut milk with a higher fat percentage for the best coconut flavor. Most light coconut milk is almost just water, steer clear of it.
  3. Resting time – the 10-minute resting time is important: it allows the rice to finish cooking while soaking up any moisture remaining on the surface of the grains, resulting in wonderfully fluffy rice.

NUTRITION

Calories: 386kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 7gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 400mgPotassium: 258mgFiber: 1gSugar: 0.4gVitamin A: 46IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 33mgIron: 3mg
Keyword coconut rice, fluffy rice, oven-baked rice
Did you make this recipe?Don’t forget the last step! Leave a comment below to let me know how it went!

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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Quickly done well ! I didn’t have any cashews nuts and added peanuts and almonds. So delicious… Total success !