20 Absolutely Delicious Ways to Cook with Coconut Milk

updated May 2, 2019
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Coconut milk is one of my absolute favorite pantry staples. Not only does it add richness and luxury to everything it touches, from stews and curries to slow cooker meals and a nearly endless list of sweet treats, but it’s also wildly versatile. Whether you have just a meager half-cup or several cans stacked in the pantry, here are over 20 sweet and savory recipes to get you cooking with coconut milk.

Silky Soups and Stews with Coconut Milk

Soups and stews that include coconut milk in the ingredient list come with the promise of a silky broth and an extra touch of rich, luxurious flavor. Qualities that I, for one, will never turn down in one of these warming meals, and I suggest you don’t either.

Savory Dinners & Sides Made with Coconut Milk

There are so many ways to work coconut milk into your dinner plans. Even if you have just a scant half-cup (or less) sitting in the fridge, mix it into your stir-fry sauce. When you have a little more to work with, coconut milk is always a nice addition to a curry, and makes the most wonderfully decadent slow cooker chicken.

Desserts with Coconut Milk

If you dream of lush, creamy desserts but aren’t into dairy, coconut milk will be your new BFF. After seeing it turned into everything from pudding and custard to ice cream and cakes, I’m convinced there is nothing it can’t do.

Drinks with Coconut Milk

If you’re left with just a little bit of leftover coconut milk and forever stumped on what to do with it, stirring or blending it into a drink is always a great idea. It gives breakfast smoothies more body and richness, while the extra fat keeps you full. You can even swap it with regular milk when making any kind of milkshake.