Feel those tropical vibes with this recipe for Coconut Lime Rice! This vibrant, zesty and super easy recipe is a fiesta of fragrant coconut and tangy lime, coming together perfectly with fluffy grains of rice. Topped with cilantro and made in the Instant Pot, this delicious coconut rice will be your new favourite side dish🥥
This recipe for coconut lime rice is such a delicious and easy way to change up RICE at dinner.
When you first go gluten-free, rice becomes your new BFF😍
At least it did for me when I finally switched over to a gluten-free diet for good.
Rice is a naturally gluten-free grain, super versatile, and easy to make.
Love rice too? Check out these other recipes featuring the small but mighty grain:
This recipe for Coconut Lime Rice boosts the flavour of the healthy grain up a notch with a creamy, coconut milk mouthfeel, plus zingy lime juice and zest.
It's a simple gluten-free side dish with a little twist to dinnertime.
Let's make it!
- 📝Ingredients for coconut lime rice
- 🔪How to make coconut lime rice
- 🙋♀️Stovetop instructions
- 🍚Should you always rinse rice before cooking?
- 🥡Storage and Freezing
- 🥥Is rice and coconut healthy?
- 🙋♀️What goes well with coconut rice?
- 🐟Salmon dishes to serve with coconut lime rice
- 🐔Chicken recipes to serve with coconut lime rice
- 🏅Top tips
- Want more?
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
📝Ingredients for coconut lime rice
- Coconut milk - from a can, not coconut milk from a carton
- Basmati or Jasmine rice
- Kosher salt
- Cilantro - optional
See recipe card below for quantities.
🔪How to make coconut lime rice
Because we're using the Instant Pot here, this rice is super easy to make.
- Cook the rice: In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the rinsed rice, coconut milk, water, lime zest, lime juice. Add a pinch of salt to taste. Give it a good stir to mix everything together.
- Bring to a boil: Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat to low.
- Simmer: Cover the saucepan with a lid and let the rice simmer on low heat for about 15-20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender. Try not to lift the lid while the rice cooks to keep the steam in there. l
- Fluff and rest: Once the rice is cooked, remove the saucepan from the heat and let it sit, covered, for an additional 5 minutes. This helps the rice to steam and become fluffier.
- Serve and garnish: After the resting time, remove the lid and fluff the rice gently with a fork. Transfer the coconut lime rice to a serving dish. Top with cilantro if you want or more lime zest.
🍚Should you always rinse rice before cooking?
Well, it's not a hard and fast rule, but rinsing rice before cooking is a good thing to do because of how it affects the final cooked rice.
For one, when rice is processed and packaged, it can sometimes get a bit of starch or dust on the grains. Rinsing it helps remove some of that excess starch and any potential impurities.
Plus, by giving the rice a quick rinse, you end up with fluffier, less sticky, cooked rice. Rinsing also helps improve the texture overall and prevents clumping. So, if you prefer less sticky rice, rinsing is worth doing.
That said, there are a few exceptions. Some types of rice, like Arborio rice used for risotto, benefit from keeping the starch, as it helps create a creamy texture.
Also, if you're using pre-seasoned or flavoured rice mixes, rinsing might wash away some of those added flavours.
Ultimately, rinsing rice before cooking is a personal preference. If you enjoy fluffier rice or want to remove any potential residue, go ahead and give it a rinse.
But if you're using specific rice varieties or pre-seasoned mixes, you can probably just skip the rinsing step.
- 🍚Type of rice - you can use Basmati rice or Jasmine rice for this recipe. I haven't tried this recipe with a brown or wild rice but if you do, I would adjust the cooking time accordingly.
- 🥣Instead of water, try broth - I love cooking rice with gluten free chicken broth for a little extra flavour. If you use chicken broth often, be sure it doesn't have any sneaky sources of gluten in it! Check out this article for how to tell if there's gluten in your chicken broth.
- 🙋♀️Lite vs. Regular Coconut milk - so I've tried both and you'll get a creamier mouthfeel and I think, more of a coconut flavour with the regular (non light) version of coconut milk. If you're wanting to keep extra calories on the lower side, go for the light version of coconut milk. It still tastes delicious without the extra calories.
- 🥥MORE coconut - if you're coo-coo for coconut like I am, try adding ~1 tablespoon of coconut oil to the rice before you cook it. It'll give even more of that coconut taste and silky feel.
Here's a few ways to change up this recipe:
- 🥕Add vegetables: Give a little more texture to the rice by adding finely diced vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, peas, or green beans. Sauté them lightly before adding the rice and coconut milk for added depth of flavour
- 🐔Add some protein: Why not up the satiety factor with some cooked shrimp, chicken, or tofu. You can marinate the protein in a combination of lime juice, soy sauce or tamari, and spices before cooking it separately and then mixing it into the cooked coconut lime rice. Try this recipe for The BEST Honey Soy Marinade
- 🌿Change up spices: Try some different spices to give the rice a unique twist. Add a pinch of cumin, turmeric, or ginger powder to give the rice a new flavour. Like it hot? You could also try adding a bit of red pepper flakes or chili powder
- 🍃Mix in fresh herbs: Toss in some freshly chopped herbs to brighten up the flavors. Cilantro or Thai basil work well with the coconut lime combination.
- 🥭Add fruit - yes fruit! For a tropical twist, throw in some diced pineapple or mango to the rice. The natural sweetness of these fruits goes so well with the tangy lime and coconut.
- 🥥Toasted coconut topping: Add a fun crunch by toasting some shredded coconut in a dry skillet until golden brown and sprinkle it over the cooked rice before serving.
All you need here is your trusty Instant Pot and a fine mesh strainer to rinse the rice.
🥡Storage and Freezing
Leftover coconut rice keeps in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Simply re-heat in the microwave when you want to eat it.
You can also freeze cooked coconut rice. Be sure to put it in a container or large freezer bag after it's cooled down.
Get as much air out of the container or bag as you can.
Freeze for up to 3 months.
🥥Is rice and coconut healthy?
Absolutely! Rice and coconut are not only a delicious combo (especially with the lime in there) but a healthy one too!
Rice is a naturally gluten free carbohydrate and provides energy, essential nutrients, and dietary fiber.
It's a great source of healthy carbohydrates that can help fuel you all day and keep you feeling satisfied.
Coconut, on the other hand, offers a unique blend of flavor and health benefits.
It contains healthy fats, including medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which can provide a quick source of energy.
Coconut also offers essential minerals like manganese and copper, as well as antioxidants.
So definitely have coconut lime rice as part of your diet. Especially when you first go gluten free, having rice in different ways can help keep you on track with gluten-free eating.
If you want some more healthy meal ideas, check out this Gluten Free Diet Plan for Beginners (PDF download).
🙋♀️What goes well with coconut rice?
Sooo many dishes go well with coconut lime rice. It's really a blank canvas (with more flavour than just plain rice) that you can add on to.
Serve coconut lime rice with grilled fish, BBQ'd chicken or a spiced cut of pork, like these Cast Iron Skillet Boneless Pork Chops with Homemade Spice Rub
Here's some more ideas:
🐟Salmon dishes to serve with coconut lime rice
🐔Chicken recipes to serve with coconut lime rice
Just be sure to NOT use coconut milk, from a carton for this recipe. Only use canned coconut milk. Whether you choose the "lite" or regular version is up to you. I've made it with both versions. The regular coconut milk and the lighter version both give a coconut lime rice that's delicious and has that coconut-milk mouth feel😋
To rinse or not to rinse the rice? After years of being a "non-rinser" (who has time for that?!), I do prefer to rinse the basmati rice before cooking. It's a step that's worth taking if you like your rice to be as fluffy as possible and have more separation between the grains of rice. If you don't feel strongly either way, then save yourself a step and skip the rinse, I say😄
Hope you love this rice recipe like we do❣️
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Coconut Lime Rice
- 1 Pressure cooker
- 1 can of coconut milk 14oz / 240 ml
- 1.5 cups water
- 2 cups basmati or Jasmine rice
- 2-4 limes
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- Cilantro optional
- Optional but recommended step: Rinse the Basmati rice for a minute or 2 under running water in a fine mesh strainer. Let it soak for about 5 minutes.
- Add the 1 can of coconut milk, 1.5 cups of water and the rinsed Basmati rice to the Instant Pot.
- Add 2 pinches of Kosher salt.
- Give it a stir and then secure the lid.
- Select the "Rice" button. (This is 13 minutes on high pressure on my Instant Pot.)
- Once the time is up, let it do a 15 min Natural Pressure Release (NPR) and then carefully release the remaining pressure with the valve.
- Remove lid. Add zest and juice of 3-4 limes.
- Stir and serve warm with cilantro on top if desired.
- My best results have come from rinsing and soaking rinsed rice for 5 minutes
- Using full fat canned coconut milk
- Not doing a quick release when the timer goes
- Letting the Instant Pot go to "Keep Warm" setting for the 15 minute NPR
- I have left the rice for up to a 30 minute NPR (while the Instant Pot was in "Keep Warm" setting) and it was still absolutely perfect
How many ounces is the can of coconut milk that you used?
Hi Sue - the can is 14oz. Updated the recipe card with that missing info. Thank you for commenting😄