Fluffy, creamy and zesty Coconut Lime Rice with toasted coconut and cilantro is an easy side dish that will jazz up any meal!
Coconut and lime together help turn a simple white rice dish into something special! This easy vegan side is bursting with flavour and can be served with all of your favourite meals.
My recipe for coconut lime rice is super creamy and irresistible. The lime juice really makes it pop, cutting through the richness of the coconut milk and adding a punch of flavour you’ll love, while the toasty shredded coconut adds colour, flavour, and lovely texture.
Here are the main ingredients you will be needing to make this recipe:
- Long grain white rice: Any long-grain white rice will do but jasmine or basmati lend themselves to the recipe best. Don't use short grain rice or brown rice.
- Coconut milk: Canned coconut milk is a pantry staple here. It's such a versatile ingredient. For the rice to actually taste of coconut I recommend using full fat canned coconut milk. Ideally a good quality brand because the higher the percentage of coconut in the milk, the better the coconut flavour in the rice will be.
- Limes: You need both the lime zest and juice in this recipe. If you only have bottled lime juice, then omit the zest.
- Shredded coconut or coconut flakes: Toast it up for a crunchy, golden and flavourful garnish!
- Fresh cilantro: Whether you love or hate cilantro, it’s totally optional in this dish.
Not a fan of lime? Check out my Coconut Basmati Rice recipe instead.
How To Make Coconut Lime Rice
Follow these easy steps to make this creamy and zesty vegan side dish:
- To a pan add the rice, coconut milk, water, lime zest and salt. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook for 15 minutes, then let it sit for 10 minutes with the lid on.
- While that's happening toast the shredded coconut in a small skillet.
- Fluff the rice up with a fork and then squeeze over the fresh lime juice.
- Add the optional cilantro and stir/fluff with a fork.
Success Tip - Don't remove the lid during the simmering or the 10-minute rest. It's really important to keep the steam trapped inside so the rice cooks properly.
To serve, sprinkle some of the toasted coconut over the rice in a serving dish or over each individual portion.
What Goes With Coconut Lime Rice?
This rice dish is really versatile. Serve as a side dish with your favourite Indian, Thai, Caribbean, Asian, or Mexican meals. It really comes into its own with curries, burrito bowls, stir-fries, and tofu-dishes. I love it with:
Tips For Storing Leftover Rice
Leftover rice should be cooled very quickly in a shallow container, then covered tightly and refrigerated. Do not leave it out at room temperature for more than 1 hour after cooking.
It can be kept in the fridge for 24 hours or frozen for up to 1 month. Reheat in the microwave or covered tightly in the oven until piping hot. If frozen reheat straight from the freezer. Don't let it defrost first.
It is very important to note that for food safety reasons cooked rice can only be reheated once. <source: The NHS's article "Can reheating rice cause food poisoning?">.
Coconut Lime Rice Recipe FAQs
If I'm honest, I never bother, but you can if you want to. Just be sure to drain it really well.
For the best coconut flavour canned full-fat coconut milk is best for this recipe. Light coconut milk doesn't impart enough coconut flavour to be worthwhile.
Any long-grain white rice is fine but jasmine rice and basmati rice give the best results.
You can try if you like but I've had mixed results. In my old 6 quart it works fine. In newer or bigger models the burn notice sometimes appears before it gets to pressure. If you want to have a go regardless, add the rice ingredients to an Instant Pot but only use ½ cup (120ml) of water. Cook on high pressure for 3 minutes, then allow the pressure to naturally release. This will take 10 to 15 minutes. You'll know when it's done because the pin/valve will drop. Open the lid, fluff with a fork, then serve.
If you try this recipe, let me know how you like it by leaving a comment and rating below! And be sure to join my mailing list for more deliciousness!
Coconut Lime RiceAuthor:
- 1½ cups (300 grams) long-grain white rice , Jasmine or Basmati is best
- 1 can (400 ml / 13.5 oz) coconut milk , light or full fat
- 1 cup (240 ml) water
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 limes , zest and juice
- ⅓ cup (20 grams) unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut
- OPTIONAL 1 big handful fresh cilantro
- Add the rice to a medium saucepan. Pour in the canned coconut milk, water and salt. Zest the limes and add the zest to the pan. Set the limes aside to juice later.
- Stir then set the heat to medium-high. Allow the liquid to come to a full boil. Once it reaches that stage, cover with a lid, turn the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Make sure it maintains a gentle simmer for the entire time. Do not stir or lift the lid.
- While you are waiting put the shredded coconut in a small pan (no need for any oil) and toast it over medium low heat. Keep it moving and remove from the heat as soon as it's starting to turn golden brown. It will only take a couple of minutes. Don't leave it alone during this time as it can burn very quickly.
- After the rice has been simmering for 15 minutes, turn off the heat and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes without lifting the lid.
- Once the time is up, remove the lid. Squeeze over the juice from the 2 limes, then fluff the rice up with a fork. Add the optional cilantro and give it a quick stir through with the fork.
- Sprinkle some of the toasted coconut over the rice before serving.