17 Ways to Burn Through That Can of Coconut Milk

Our very best coconut milk recipes—both sweet and savory

Got an extra can of coconut milk? Look no further for inspiration: we’re huge fans of the stuff and we’ve rounded up our best coconut milk recipes, including sweet desserts, rich drinks, and savory, spicy curries from around the world.

Some of our favorite Indian recipes and Southeast Asian recipes use coconut milk in curries, like authentic Thai kaeng khiaw waan with seafood and eggplant. If you’re looking for something less traditional, it’s easy to get creative with coconut milk: splash it into some mussels or use it to jazz up your average horchata or hot cocoa.

Ready to go? From Fijian ceviche to Filipino paella, here are our absolute recipes to make with a can of coconut milk.

Summer Rambutan Curry

After stumbling upon fresh rambutans, test kitchen assistant Jake Cohen used this Malaysian tropical fruit to make this spicy and sweet summer curry. Get the recipe for Summer Rambutan Curry »

Fijian Ceviche

Fijian Ceviche

Nicaraguan “Rundown” Seafood Soup

Rundown Seafood Soup

Sautéed Squash and Shrimp with Coconut Milk and Chiles

Similar to an unripe mango or green papaya, julienned squash has a slightly “green” flavor that pairs well with the classic Thai flavors in this quick, brothy dish. Get the recipe for Sautéed Squash and Shrimp with Coconut Milk and Chiles »

Green Curry with Fish and Eggplant (Kaeng Khiaw Waan)

Thai-style dumplings add a nice, bouncy texture to this green curry. Get the recipe for Green Curry with Fish and Eggplant (Kaeng Khiaw Waan) »
Anna Watson Carl relies on sweetened condensed milk to add richness to this frozen dessert flavored with coconut milk, lime zest, and toasty pistachios. Simply macerated peaches provide a fresh, fruity counterpart.

Sesame-Topped Semolina Cake with Coconut (Shwekyi Senyinmakin)

This sticky-sweet cake, made with semolina flour and coconut milk, is commonly served at holidays and special occasions in Myanmar. Get the recipe for Sesame-Topped Semolina Cake with Coconut (Shwekyi Senyinmakin) »

Vegan Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

This vegan ice cream from Brooklyn’s Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream takes a classic flavor combination, peanut butter and chocolate, and uses cashew milk to make for an extra rich ice cream. Get the recipe for Vegan Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Ice Cream »

Philippine Paella

Part Spanish, part Filipino, made with rich coconut milk and hard-cooked eggs for garnish. Get the recipe for Philippine Paella »

Grilled Chicken and Toasted Coconut Salad (Ayam Jeruk)

For this vibrantly spiced Balinese dish, finely shredded grilled chicken is tossed in an aromatic sambal with lime juice and toasted coconut. Get the recipe for Grilled Chicken and Toasted Coconut Salad (Ayam Jeruk) »

Steep it for Killer Custard and Ice Cream

Often used in southeast Asian curries and Indian rice dishes, pandan leaf lends a subtly exotic savory note to this coconut ice cream.

Coconut Horchata

This version of the classic Mexican rice-based drink, which writer Sara Deseran adapted from one at Fresno’s El Mercado Super, is made with a mix of coconut milk and coconut water for a beverage that is both luxurious and refreshing. Get the recipe for Coconut Horchata »

Top Pot Triple Coconut Donuts

Coconut milk gives these donuts from Seattle’s Top Pot donut shop a super-moist interior and a gratifying crust. Get the recipe for Top Pot Triple Coconut Donuts »

Mozambican Coconut Crab Curry (Caranguejo e Coco)

Mozambique was colonized by Portugal for almost five centuries. At Cantinho do Aziz, Khalid Aziz draws crowds with Mozambican dishes that honor his family’s heritage, like this take on a traditional crab curry. The first step for this dish calls for making coconut milk from unsweetened coconut, which has a cleaner flavor and lighter texture than the canned variety. If you’d like, save the rehydrated coconut to flavor the accompanying white rice. Otherwise, feel free to discard it. Get the recipe for Mozambican Coconut Crab Curry »
Thai Spiced Hot Chocolate

Curried Chicken

Bathed in fragrant curry- and ginger-infused coconut milk, this stew is a popular breakfast dish at Kingston cafés. Get the recipe for Curried Chicken »

Smita Chandra’s Malabar Mussels

Dishes from the south Indian state of Kerala, along the Malabar Coast, are heavily influenced by the area’s abundant supply of seafood. In this Anglo-Indian recipe from cookbook author and cooking instructor Smita Chandra, mussels gathered from local waters are cooked with tomatoes in a richly spiced coconut broth.