16 Delicious Coconut Milk Substitute Options 

 Last Update December 28, 2023

By Jenny Zhang

Home / Guides / 16 Delicious Coconut Milk Substitute Options

Are you looking to add a creamy, tropical twist to your recipes but don't have coconut milk on hand? Whether you have lactose intolerance, adhere to a vegan diet, or find yourself running low on this delightful pantry essential, there's no need to worry! We've got you covered with a delightful array of coconut milk substitutes that will have your taste buds dancing in delight.

In this blog post, we will explore some fantastic coconut milk alternatives that mimic the rich and indulgent flavor of coconut milk and offer their unique twists to elevate your culinary creations.

16 Best Coconut Milk Substitutes

When it comes to finding the best option to replace coconut milk, it really depends on your specific dietary preferences and the recipe you're preparing. Here are some excellent coconut milk substitutes, each with its own unique qualities:

Coconut Cream

Swap coconut milk with coconut cream! Coconut cream is one of the best substitutes for coconut milk due to its rich, velvety consistency and intense coconut flavor. Its luxurious texture elevates dishes to new heights of creaminess and decadence, making coconut cream ideal for recipes that demand a luscious, tropical profile.

Use coconut cream when crafting indulgent curries, creamy soups, and desserts like coconut-based ice creams and custards. The thicker nature of coconut cream ensures a fuller body and enhanced coconut essence, ensuring your culinary creations maintain an authentic taste and texture.

If you find yourself without cashew cream, you can make your own by blending soaked cashews until smooth and creamy. Coconut cream is the best possible replacement for coconut milk, and who knows? You might just enjoy using coconut cream more than coconut milk due to the flavor and texture coconut cream brings to the recipe!

Almond Milk

When replacing coconut milk, almond milk takes the crown as the versatile hero of dairy substitutes. Boasting a creamy texture and subtle nutty undertones, almond milk effortlessly integrates into a variety of recipes. Whether you're whipping up a morning smoothie, creamy pasta sauce, or decadent dessert, almond milk adds a touch of luxuriousness without overwhelming flavors. Plus, it's low in saturated fats, making it a healthy choice!

Whisk a small amount of coconut oil or coconut flour into the almond milk to add a touch of coconut flavor. Coconut flour adds the coconut flavor that would otherwise be missing and acts as a thickening agent. Almond milk has a lower fat content than coconut milk, resulting in a thinner consistency. Another way to boost almond milk up to a thicker consistency is to add a tablespoon of lemon juice for every cup of almond milk.

Cashew Milk

When it's time to swap out coconut milk, cashew milk swoops in as the superstar replacement! Creamy, dreamy, and with a touch of nutty elegance, it's a culinary chameleon and one of the best coconut milk swaps. The milder flavor of cashew milk blends seamlessly into your favorite recipes, adding velvety texture without overshadowing flavors. Use cashew milk in your morning coffee, creamy curries, or luscious desserts, and watch as it elevates every bite and sip. Plus, it's a lactose-free, vegan-friendly choice that's easy on the waistline! So whether you're looking for non-dairy substitutes, in search of culinary creativity, or simply craving a creamy twist, cashew milk is your ticket to culinary success.

Soy Milk

Soy milk stands out as a superb traditional substitute for coconut milk due to its neutral and creamy nature. The versatility of soy milk makes it a standout choice for various culinary endeavors. The mild flavor of soy milk complements both sweet and savory recipes, seamlessly blending into dishes like curries, creamy soups, and baked goods. When you need to maintain a creamy texture without the coconut taste, soy milk steps in beautifully. Moreover, it's an excellent source of plant-based protein and essential nutrients! To add a coconut flavor and scent to the creamy soy milk, you can add a touch of coconut oil.

Oat Milk

Substitute coconut milk with oat milk. The rich texture and mild flavor of oat milk make it an ideal choice when you want to replace coconut milk in recipes. Oat milk's natural sweetness enhances desserts, such as puddings, ice creams, and baked goods, while its creaminess adds a comforting touch to coffee and lattes. Moreover, oat milk stands out as an excellent choice for individuals with nut or soy allergies. And if you want to add a touch of coconut flavor and scent to the oat milk, add a touch of coconut oil.

Rice Milk

Rice milk earns its reputation as a stellar substitute for coconut milk thanks to its neutral flavor and versatility. Its light and slightly sweet flavor makes it an outstanding choice for individuals seeking a dairy-free alternative to traditional coconut milk without a pronounced coconut essence.

Rice milk blends seamlessly into many sweet or savory recipes, making it a versatile choice for cereal, coffee, or savory dishes like soups and stews. Moreover, rice milk is naturally lactose-free and suitable for individuals with allergic reactions to tree nuts and soy milk.

Homemade Coconut Milk

Homemade coconut milk takes the crown as the best coconut milk substitute due to its versatility and customizability. By blending shredded coconut with water using a high-powered blender and then straining the mixture, you can tailor the thickness and flavor to your liking!

This DIY approach allows you to precisely replace the canned coconut milk in your recipe using a one-to-one ratio. It's a perfect substitute in most recipes where you want a fresh, natural coconut essence, whether in curries, soups, desserts, or beverages. Homemade coconut milk ensures the purest coconut experience, free from additives or preservatives! When you aim for authenticity and a personalized touch, crafting your own coconut milk substitute is a rewarding culinary choice.

Coconut Yogurt

Coconut yogurt shines as a great option to replace coconut milk, particularly when a tangy, creamy alternative is needed. With its velvety texture and distinctive flavor, it is an excellent choice for various applications. In a recipe that calls for coconut milk, such as curries, creamy sauces, and desserts, coconut yogurt lends richness and a delightful tang that enhances the dish. It also serves as an excellent alternative for individuals adhering to a vegan or lactose-free diet.

Beyond its culinary uses, coconut yogurt serves as a probiotic-rich, gut-healthy option, adding nutritional benefits to your recipes. For a luxurious and dairy-free twist, coconut yogurt excels as a coconut milk alternative.

Silken Tofu

Silken tofu proves to be a great coconut milk substitute, particularly when the recipe calls for an ideal substitute for creaminess and versatility. This plant-based milk has a smooth, neutral texture that makes it a chameleon in the kitchen, adapting seamlessly to various recipes. Use blended silken tofu mixed with coconut water to create a silky, dairy-free alternative to coconut milk.

To replicate the creamy foundation of coconut milk, blend silken tofu with an equal amount of soy milk. This method works brilliantly in smoothies, creamy soups, and desserts like dairy-free cheesecakes. Silken tofu not only maintains a creamy consistency but also adds a protein boost to your dishes.

Evaporated Milk

Nut milks aren't your only option! Evaporated milk serves as a remarkable coconut milk substitute due to its rich, creamy texture and neutral flavor. It's an ideal choice when you require a dairy-based alternative that mimics the thickness of coconut milk.

Evaporated milk works wonders in recipes that call for coconut milk, especially in creamy sauces, soups, and desserts like custards and puddings. Its elevated fat content brings a luxurious touch while preserving a neutral taste that won't overshadow your dishes. Additionally, evaporated milk offers a dose of calcium and protein.

Sour Cream

Sour cream stands out as an unconventional yet effective coconut milk substitute when a tangy and creamy twist is desired. With its luscious texture and slightly tangy flavor, it has the potential to enhance both savory and sweet recipes.

Use sour cream in place of coconut milk for a unique flavor profile in dishes like curries, stews, and creamy soups. It is also a fantastic addition to baked goods, contributing to a tender crumb and imparting a delightful tartness. Whether you're looking to experiment in the kitchen or seeking a dairy option with a zesty kick, sour cream offers a surprisingly delicious alternative to coconut milk, adding a new dimension to your culinary creations.

Greek Yogurt

Much like coconut yogurt, Greek yogurt can serve as an excellent substitute for coconut milk, owing to its thick, creamy texture and tangy taste. If you are able to find coconut flavored Greek yogurt in your dairy aisle, that would be an ideal swap!

When you want a dairy-based alternative that imparts richness and a hint of tartness to your dishes, Greek yogurt is the go-to choice. Utilize it in recipes requiring coconut milk, such as creamy sauces, dressings, and desserts like parfaits and smoothies. The yogurt's high protein content and fat content adds a nutritional boost to your creations. Whether you're looking for a creamier, protein-rich alternative or simply prefer the taste of yogurt over coconut milk, Greek yogurt provides a delightful twist that enhances both flavor and texture in your culinary endeavors.

Heavy Cream

Heavy cream is a great full-fat coconut milk substitute, especially when you're seeking unparalleled richness and decadence. With its high fat content and luxurious texture, heavy cream effortlessly replaces coconut milk in recipes, imparting a creamy, velvety mouthfeel. Use heavy cream in hot dishes that require coconut milk, such as creamy curries and soups. You can also use heavy cream to make indulgent desserts, like coconut-based custards and ice creams. Heavy whipping cream enhances the overall flavor while offering a satisfyingly thick consistency.

Whether you're looking to elevate the richness of your dishes or simply need a dairy-based alternative, heavy cream delivers a sumptuous experience that takes your culinary creations to the next level.

Macadamia Nut Milk

Macadamia nut milk is a top-tier substitute for coconut milk due to its naturally creamy texture and mild, nutty flavor. This non-dairy milk is an exceptional choice for those seeking a non-dairy alternative with a luxurious mouthfeel. Macadamia nut milk works wonderfully in recipes that traditionally call for coconut milk, such as tropical smoothies, curries, and creamy sauces. The rich consistency of Greek yogurt adds depth to dishes, and its nutty undertones complement a variety of flavors.

Whole Milk

Whole dairy milk is a noteworthy coconut milk substitute, especially when you're looking for a dairy-based alternative with a rich, creamy consistency. Whole cow's milk is an excellent choice for recipes calling for coconut milk, adding a delightful richness without the coconut flavor. If you need the coconut flavor for your recipe, just add a splash of coconut water.

Use whole milk in dishes like creamy soups, puddings, and baked desserts to maintain a familiar, dairy-based taste profile. It works especially well when you want to preserve the original essence of a recipe while enhancing its creaminess. Whether you're out of coconut milk or prefer a milder, dairy-infused option, whole milk ensures a luxurious texture that elevates your culinary creations.

Hemp Milk

Hemp milk emerges as one of the best substitutes for coconut milk due to its unique set of qualities. Its mild, nutty flavor complements sweet and savory recipes while providing a creamy consistency.

Hemp milk is an ideal choice for those with allergies triggered by other types of plant-based milk, as it's free from both tree nuts and soy. Additionally, it is abundant in omega-3 fatty acids and substantially boosts protein. Use hemp milk when making smoothies, cereal, coffee, or any dish that requires coconut milk. Its versatility, nutritional benefits, and neutral taste make it a standout plant-based milk, all while remaining allergen-friendly.

Jenny passionately advocates a holistic and natural approach to health and well-being. She has a Bachelor of Science degree and years of working in food sciences, specializing in organic & natural products. She is committed to helping others embrace a balanced, natural lifestyle that fosters well-being. Jenny believes that a harmonious balance between nutrition, fitness, and mindfulness is the key to unlocking the full potential of one’s well-being.