This Coconut Lime Rice is light, fluffy, and packed with flavor. Basmati rice is toasted with coconut flakes then simmered with lime juice and zest in creamy coconut milk.
I don’t know why, but I have THE hardest time coming up with side dish ideas. Main dishes? Check! What to serve with it? That’s where I struggle. Rice is my go-to, but sometimes rice can get a little boring. Enter: coconut lime rice. This, my friends, is anything but boring!
Healthy, coconut-y, and creamy with a hint of lime. This side dish is so simple and so yummy!
- Coconut Oil and Unsalted Butter – used to toast the uncooked rice and coconut flakes. This adds a rich, nutty, and toasty flavor.
- Basmati Rice – has a slightly nutty flavor and light, airy texture. This rice holds up really well next to the coconut milk and water, staying in separate grains rather than clumping up.
- Shredded Coconut – toasted to bring out the coconut flavor. It also adds a bit of chewiness to the rice, giving a unique texture!
- Lime – you’ll use freshly squeezed lime juice and lime zest. The perfect contrast to the rich coconut milk.
- Coconut Milk and Water – this mixture of liquids cooks the rice perfectly while also giving it just the right amount of creaminess…and more coconut flavor!
- Salt and Pepper – enhances other flavors and cuts the sweetness from the coconut.
- Cilantro – for serving, if desired.
How to make
This coconut lime rice recipe requires 10 minutes of prep!
- Melt coconut oil and butter in a large non-stick pan then add in rice and coconut flakes. Toast for 3-4 minutes then set aside.
- Place lime juice, lime zest, coconut milk, water, salt, and pepper in a saucepan and bring the mixture to a low boil, whisking occasionally.
- Mix in the toasted rice and coconut flakes, cover, and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.
- Once the liquid is absorbed, fluff with a fork, then serve and enjoy!
Should you rinse the rice first?
Yes. The water rinses off any excess starch which prevents the grains of rice from clumping together as they cook.
However, if you forget to rinse the rice before you cook it, it will be fine! I do this all the time to avoid an extra step, because I’m lazy. 😉
Do you need to toast the rice?
No, you do not need to toast the rice, but I highly recommend it. Toasting the rice before cooking it gives it another layer of flavor and helps it hold up next to the milk and water for a lighter, fluffier texture.
Can you use another rice?
Any long grain white rice should work. I love basmati rice, but jasmine rice will work as well.
What coconut milk to use
Full fat canned coconut milk will produce the strongest coconut flavor and creamiest texture. Light canned coconut milk or even coconut milk from the carton will work as well, but keep in mind that the flavor and texture will be affected.
How to serve coconut lime rice
This coconut lime rice is very versatile! Enjoy it as component of an entree or as a side. Here are just a few different recipes you can serve it with!
- As a base. Serve it as a base for burrito bowls, chicken curry, crockpot thai chicken curry, or stir fry.
- As a side. Enjoy it alongside chicken satay or with tofu and peanut sauce.
- In a burrito. Wrap it in a tortilla with black beans, pico, queso, and all your favorite burrito fix-ins!
How to store
Leftover coconut lime rice will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days or in the freezer for 2-3 months.
To reheat, thaw in the fridge if frozen then microwave or heat on the stove to warm.
Coconut Lime Rice
Equipment for this recipe
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter use a vegan variety or use more coconut oil to make vegan
- 1 cup basmati rice rinsed and drained well
- 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 lime zested and juiced (you need 2 tablespoons juice)
- 1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Chopped cilantro optional, for serving
- Melt coconut oil and butter in a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat.
- Add rice and coconut flakes.
- Toast, stirring regularly, for 3 to 4 minutes. Set aside.
- Place lime juice, zest, coconut milk, water, salt, and pepper in a medium sized saucepan.
- Bring to a low boil, whisking occasionally.
- Stir in toasted rice and coconut flakes, cover, and reduce heat to low.
- Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al denté.
- Fluff with fork, then taste and re-season, if necessary.
- Top with cilantro and serve!
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*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.