Our Best Coconut Recipes
Coconut, and its incredible versatility, is something to be celebrated. It balances bolder ingredients, like curry paste or pineapple, and adds silkiness to whatever it touches. What’s more, it provides those who opt to eat dairy-free with a practical and delicious plant-based alternative. Its flakes add textural intrigue to desserts, and its milk lends some much-needed complexity to beverages and bowls. Point being, there’s so much more to coconut than sprinkling it over cake.
Sheet Pan Thai Red Curry Mussels
Easy weeknight dinners don’t get any more impressive than these sheet pan mussels. Bold aromatics come together with curry paste and rich coconut milk for an incredible broth that goes right on the sheet pan to steam the mussels and infuse them with flavor. We keep the prep time low on this restaurant-quality dish by opting for prepared ginger, garlic, and lemongrass paste; however, feel free to substitute fresh, whole ingredients. In fact, if you have some time to spare, you could even try your hand at making your own curry paste.
Coconut-Ginger Sweet Potato Brûlée
Coconut Cream Pie
When it comes to pie recipes, this classic coconut pie recipe takes the blue ribbon. Perfect for a warm summer night, this tropical filling is dense and not overly sweet. The use of a refrigerated pie crust makes it easy and the whipped cream makes it fun and stunning. We think the toasted coconut topping is a must, as it adds crunchy texture, nutty flavor, and a gorgeous golden-brown garnish.
Coconut-Curry Tempeh Bowls
Be sure to cook the tempeh until golden brown and crisp to add a nice layer of nutty flavor to this dish.
Cashew, Coconut, and Cabbage Slaw
Refreshing the coconut flakes in a bit of coconut oil gives them a lovely sheen and makes the salad incredibly aromatic. The lime juice and zest bring the whole thing together. Find this recipe in The Pho Cookbook, out February 2017.
Instant Pot Khao Soi
What gives this easy Khao Soi its incredible flavor backbone is the homemade curry paste. It’s easier to whip up in the food processor than you might think and we’d strongly recommend giving it a try. However, if you find yourself pinched for time, you can substitute 3-4 tablespoons of store-bought curry paste. Lemongrass is easily sourced at specialty or Asian markets; however, if you have trouble finding it fresh, you can find a super convenient lemongrass paste in the produce section of many conventional grocery stores.
And you get three of them per serving!
Lemon-Coconut Chess Bars
Coconut milk adds a hint of tropical flavor to these delightfully tangy bars. From bake sales to bridal showers, these bars are perfect for entertaining. For the smoothest filling, whisk together the dry ingredients, and then stir in the wet ingredients until smooth. This will prevent tiny lumps of flour from forming.
These succulent spiced ribs are sure to make their way into your most-requested slow cooker recipes repertoire. Simmering low and slow in coconut milk and a rich combination of aromatics allows these pork ribs to gently cook to tender, flavorful perfection. Serve them over a bed of warm basmati rice. And if you find yourself with leftovers, shred the meat from the bones and layer into corn tortillas with fresh toppings for a serious taco upgrade.
Dairy-Free Piña Colada Sherbet
You’re just 4 ingredients and 5-minutes-worth of hands-on work from this rich and luscious Piña Colada-inspired, non-dairy sherbet. Often confused with sorbet—which by definition, contains no dairy—sherbet is typically made with a dairy component like milk, buttermilk, or a heavier cream. However, this tropical twist is perfect for anyone with a dairy allergy or sensitivity, as the cool and creamy treat replaces the cream element of a typical sherbet with canned coconut cream—which provides the necessary amount of fat to lend this dairy-free, vegan dessert a rich, creamy mouthfeel without dairy. As refreshing as it is decadent, and simple-to-make as it is delicious, this coconut and pineapple goodness might just become you’re new favorite, quick and easy summer dessert.
Super-moist and super-easy, this quick bread gets a triple hit of coconut goodness from coconut sugar (you can sub light or dark brown sugar), canned coconut milk, and melted coconut oil—but the finished bread tastes deliciously subtly of the fuzzy nut. (No worries—it does not taste like tanning lotion!) For extra richness, you can stir in a teaspoon or two of vanilla extract, or top the batter with shredded unsweetened coconut before baking, but the simple loaf tastes pretty great as is.
This recipe originally appeared on Cookinglight.com.
Roasted Carrot and Coconut Soup
Avocado and coconut milk give this vegetarian soup a decadent, buttery texture; fiber-rich lentils and beans make it surprisingly filling. Keep your pantry stocked with these staples to help you throw this soup together in no time.
Coconut Tartlets with Poached Pineapple and Mascarpone Cream
Refreshing and bright, with the tropical flair of pineapple and coconut, these little tarts are a fun departure from typical desserts. Even better, most of the elements can be prepared a day ahead, then assembled just before serving.
Vegan Coconut Cream Tart with White Peaches and Blueberries
This nutrient-rich twist on coconut cream pie is lusciously smooth and decadent… it’s also vegan, paleo, gluten-fee, and raw. In other words, you’re looking at a tart with a stacked resume. Perfect for a special occasion, especially if you’re looking to clean up your diet a bit, this show-stopping vegan dessert offers rich, toasty flavor and sweet tooth satisfaction—without adding refined sugar. And since there’s no need to crank up the oven to make it, this treat especially ideal for summer. Keep in mind, whipping coconut cream can sometimes be tricky. If you forget to refrigerate your cans overnight or if too much of the liquid gets mixed in, it will most likely separate. But not to worry—mixing in a bit of tapioca flour (arrowroot would also work) can bring the mixture back together in a snap. To save yourself time, go ahead and place your mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the fridge to chill as soon as you are ready to start prepping your tart.
Spiced Tilapia with Coconut Rice
Two pantry staples—black pepper and turmeric—team up to fight inflammation and add bold flavor to this fast-fix tilapia. Dressing up microwave rice with coconut milk is a smart kitchen hack you’ll turn to again and again.
Ultimate Coconut Cake
"Ultimate" is no exaggeration here—this cake features coconut flour, coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut cream, coconut sugar, coconut extract, and (of course) flaked coconut. Given this cake's incredibly moist layers, intense coconut flavor, and lighter-than-air filling, our test kitchen chefs fought over the leftovers.
Coconut Rice Pudding with Strawberry-Nectarine Compote
Salmon Ceviche with Coconut and Basil
Be sure to purchase your salmon for this recipe from a trusted purveyor; incredibly fresh seafood is an absolute must for ceviche. This dynamic take on the classic Latin American dish (which involves marinating raw fish in citrus juice for a few hours in order to "cook" it) makes for a stunning presentation with the wild salmon's vibrant pink color, accented by dots of red caviar. Be sure that you use unsweetened culinary coconut milk (the shelf stable kind you can often find shelved with other canned milks) in this elegant ceviche, as sweetened coconut milk would easily overpower the dish.
Blueberry Açaí Bowl
Açaí, a superfood rich in fiber, antioxidants, and heart-healthy fatty acids is the component that you didn't know you need in all of your smoothie bowls. Blended with frozen berries and a banana, and topped with fresh fruit, granola, chia seeds, and coconut, this Instagram-worthy breakfast is the ultimate start to your day.
Spicy Thai Coconut Chicken Soup
Roasted Butternut Squash with Coconut and Chile
For a delicious fall side dish, combine roasted butternut squash with coconut flakes and red chile and coat the mixture with a lime juice mixture.
Vegan Mini Peanut Butter Pies
Love peanut butter cups? This is the treat for you. With a rich, chocolatey crust and a deep, nutty, creamy inside, this dessert is for all the peanut butter and chocolate lovers, whether you're vegan or not. Silken tofu acts as a smooth, thickening component for the filling, as well as canned coconut cream. This easy, no-bake dessert packs all the indulgent flavors of your favorite candy bar, yet it's still dairy-free, gluten-free, and made with natural sweeteners.
Coconut La Croix Chocolate Truffles
Use your favorite fizzy beverage to give a burst of coconut flavor to your sweet, chocolatey truffles.
Baked Coconut Plantains
With their crisp exterior, tender and creamy interior, and hint of coconut flavor, we found these plantain slices absolutely irresistible. Seek out sweet, ripe plantains for this recipe, ones whose skins are heavily mottled with black spots. Plantains that are green or yellow, with little to no dark spots, will be quite starchy and are not ideal here. If you don't have coconut oil on hand, you can use avocado oil or canola oil—but we strongly recommend the coconut oil for its delicious nutty flavor.
Who knew that a ripe avocado could add such a rich flavor and silky smooth texture to a batch of homemade popsicles? With a pop of fresh citrus juice and sweetened with a little agave nectar, these fun, kid-approved frozen desserts are the perfect summer treat.
Almond-Coconut Chicken Satay
We switch up the peanut butter in a classic satay sauce for almond butter and add Thai red curry paste, a powerhouse condiment made up of nearly 14 ingredients including fresh ginger, lemongrass, and chiles. Don’t worry about the extra coconut milk in the can; you’ll use it up in the following recipe. Soaking the skewers for 10 to 20 minutes will keep them from burning on the grill pan. You can also use metal skewers.
Braised Bluefish and Spring Vegetables in Spiced Coconut Broth
Curried Coconut-Pumpkin Soup
Coconut-Carrot Cake with Coconut Buttercream
You’ve got dessert duty? We’ve got you covered with this lightly spiced sheet cake that serves a crowd and travels well too. Why choose between carrot cake and coconut cake when both flavors work so well together?
Lime In Coconut Cheesecake
This no-bake key lime cheesecake is served in a halved, fresh coconut for a light, fresh, and fun twist on dessert. If you have trouble finding coconut whipped topping, you can use dairy whipped topping with a drop of coconut extract mixed in.
mr-Satay Soba Noodle Bowl
mr-Satay Soba Noodle Bowl
Coconut-Quinoa Breakfast Bowls
Not only an edible work of art, this quinoa bowl yields a refreshing bonus: a glassful of antioxidant-rich coconut water to pair with all that strawberry, kiwi, and banana.
Coconut Banana Fritters
The standard batter for these sweet fritters uses rice flour; this one, by the blogging duo known as the Ravenous Couple (ravenouscouple.com), has coconut flour instead, which creates an extra-crunchy crust with a warm coconut flavor.
Cardamom adds an exotic sweet flavor to Coconut-Cardamom Macaroons. Coconut gives these drops cookies their chewy, dense texture. The combination adds an elegant addition to your dessert table.
Coconut Cream Cake
Look for packaged coconut shavings in your grocer's natural foods section.
Instant Pot Coconut Rice
This easy recipe for coconut rice couldn’t be more simple or delicious. Ready in just 20 minutes, it makes the perfect delicately sweet and nutty base for any of your favorite curry recipes. Once you have the basic formula for making Instant Pot rice down, you can branch out with other flavor profiles as well, such as saffron rice and green rice.
Tofu and Edamame Noodle Bowl with Caramelized Coconut Broth
Grating jalapeño, ginger, and garlic allows them to infuse the coconut milk with bold flavor quickly, while caramelizing the mixture intensifies the savory-sweet appeal of this saucy noodle bowl.
Vegan Dark Chocolate Coconut Tart
After you take one bite of this deeply decadent “clean eating” dessert, you might not believe that it’s raw, vegan, gluten-free and paleo… but low and behold, you don’t need excessive sugar or other processed ingredients to make something magical. This show-stopping dark chocolate tart offers an incredibly rich chocolate flavor and silky pudding-like texture—but it’s so easy to whip up, even the most inexperienced baker/dessert-maker will look like a pastry pro bringing it to the table. Perfect for anyone following a special diet or simply trying to clean their eating habits up a bit, this dark and decadent tasting treat perfectly satisfies both the sweet tooth and chocolate indulgence cravings. And since there’s no need to crank up the oven, it’s especially ideal for summer.
Piña Colada Sorbet
Three kinds of coconut products—coconut water and milk and cream of coconut—offer the best flavor and texture. Look for coconut water by the fruit juices. For an adult treat, drizzle rum over your serving.
Gingered Sweet Potato Soup with Toasted Coconut and Pumpkinseeds
Gingered Sweet Potato Soup with Toasted Coconut and Pumpkinseeds
Coconut Milk Panna Cotta
Sublimely creamy, this is the perfect make-ahead dessert.
Coconut Oil Waffles
Look for unrefined or virgin coconut oil to provide a hint of coconut essence, which gives these waffles a unique flavor. The batter comes together really easily, but be sure your coconut oil is melted before adding it to your wet mixture, and don't overmix. To continue the tropical theme, top the waffles with mango or kiwi and toasted unsweetened coconut flakes.
Poached Chicken Noodle Bowl
There’s no better way to describe this poached chicken dish than wellness in a bowl. The delicate and delicious noodle bowl is a shining example of how to make and use poached chicken like a pro. Gently poaching chicken breasts in a liquid thats lightly flavored with aromatics, such as ginger and lemongrass, leads to wonderfully succulent, tender meat with a lovely level of flavoring. In this wholesome dish, we also use the poaching liquid both to cook the noodles and create the light coconut broth. The key to successful poaching is temperature control; once you’ve added your chicken to the pot, you want to keep your poaching liquid from ever reaching a boil. In fact, you should aim to keep the water at a state of releasing wispy spouts of steam from the surface, but never bubbling, throughout the entirety of the cooking process. (It’s not nearly as intense/difficult as it seems.) You should also try to purchase chicken breasts that are roughly the same size so that they cook at the same rate.
Mile-High Coconut Cupcakes
With a name like Mile-High, this delectable treat does not imply a lack of generosity. The toasted coconut cupcake will rise to any occasion - perfect for entertaining with its delightful display of crisped coconut embellishment. Whoever says too much is a bad thing clearly has not experienced the Mile-High Coconut Cupcake!
Thai Peanut Sweet Potato Soup
This velvety-smooth sweet potato soup feels like fall and tastes company-worthy sophisticated, but it’s ready to serve in under 30 minutes. How? We tap a flavor-packed store-bought satay sauce to serve as the base of the soup, and the rest is easy. Thai peanut satay sauce delivers bold, complex flavors—from elements like garlic, lemongrass, coconut milk, and warming spices—with only as much effort as it takes to open the bottle on your end. We opted for Thai Kitchen brand sauce, but feel free to use whatever brand you like. This flavorful soup is equally awesome for a weeknight dinner as it is as an opening course for a holiday dinner party, and no one would ever guess it’s as easy as it is to whip up. Plus, this Thai-inspired bowl of comfort is completely vegan, making it a great option to serve when entertaining friends who maintain a plant-based diet. It’s also a great option to prep on the weekend and enjoy throughout the week. To save even more time, go for pre-chopped onions.