The 16 Delicious Coconut Milk Substitute Options 

 Last Update April 19, 2024

By Jenny Zhang

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Are you looking to add a creamy, tropical twist to your recipes but don't have coconut milk? Whether you have lactose intolerance, adhere to a vegan diet, or are 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 coconut milk's rich and indulgent flavor and offer their unique twists to elevate your culinary creations.

The 16 Best Coconut Milk Substitutes

Coconut Cream

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.

When substituting, you can dilute coconut cream with water to achieve a similar consistency to coconut milk; typically, mixing one part of coconut cream with two parts of water replicates the lightness of coconut milk.

Use coconut cream when crafting indulgent coconut 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.

Unsweetened Almond Milk

Unsweetened Almond Milk

Almond milk is the versatile hero of dairy substitutes when replacing coconut milk. Boasting a creamy texture and subtle nutty undertones, almond milk effortlessly integrates into a variety of recipes.

Almond milk has a much thinner consistency and less fat than full-fat coconut milk and is more like light coconut milk, so it's best used in recipes where the creamy texture of coconut milk is not critical, such as in smoothies, beverages, and some baking recipes. To substitute, use a 1:1 ratio, but for dishes requiring thicker consistency, you may need to reduce the almond milk or add a thickener or whisk in a small amount of coconut oil, coconut flour, almond flour, coconut butter, or even almond butter.

Cashew Milk

Glass of milk and scattered cashew nuts on blue surface

When it's time to swap out coconut milk, cashew milk is 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.

To substitute coconut milk, use it in a 1:1 ratio as a direct replacement. This substitution makes it ideal for both sweet and savory dishes.

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!

Soy Milk

Soy Milk

Due to its neutral and creamy nature, soy milk is a superb traditional substitute for coconut milk. Its versatility makes it a standout choice for various culinary endeavors.

When using soy milk as a substitute, use a one-to-one ratio in most recipes, making it a versatile alternative for cooking and baking. Add a touch of coconut oil to add a coconut flavor and scent to the creamy soy milk.

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!

Oat Milk

Oat milk bottle on plate with oats on a gray background

Using oat milk as a substitute for coconut milk is a great choice for those seeking a milder, nut-free alternative. Oat milk's creamy texture and neutral flavor make it suitable for a wide range of dishes. It can be used in a 1:1 ratio for coconut milk in recipes. This substitution works well in baking, smoothies, coffee, and savory dishes like curries and soups.

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. 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

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 can be substituted for coconut milk in a 1:1 ratio, making it straightforward in both sweet and savory dishes.

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 allergic to tree nuts and soy milk.

Homemade Coconut Milk

Homemade Coconut Milk

Homemade coconut milk is 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 lets you 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!

Coconut Yogurt

Coconut Yogurt

Coconut yogurt is a great option to replace coconut milk, particularly when a tangy, creamy alternative is needed. Its velvety texture and distinctive flavor make it an excellent choice for various applications.

In a recipe calls for coconut milk, such as curries, creamy sauces, and pancakes. 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. The substitution ratio can vary based on the desired consistency of the dish, but generally, you can start with a one-to-one replacement.

Beyond its culinary uses, coconut yogurt is 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

Block of tofu scored on a white rectangular dish

Silken tofu is 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. Blend silken tofu 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 maintains a creamy consistency and adds a protein boost to your dishes.

Evaporated Milk

Evaporated Milk

Nut milk isn't your only option! Evaporated milk is a remarkable substitute for coconut milk 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.

For substitution, use an equal amount of evaporated milk to replace coconut milk or dilute it slightly with water for a closer match.

Evaporated milk works wonders 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.

Sour Cream

Sour Cream

Sour cream is 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.

To substitute, use sour cream in a 1:1 ratio for coconut milk, but this may vary depending on the desired consistency of the recipe.

Use sour cream 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.

Greek Yogurt

Greek Yogurt

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

To replace coconut milk, use an equal amount of Greek yogurt or thin it with water for a lighter consistency. 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 add a nutritional boost to your creations.

Heavy Cream

Milk And 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.

To substitute, heavy cream can be used in a 1:1 ratio or diluted with water to more closely mimic the consistency of coconut milk.

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.

Macadamia Nut Milk

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.

To replace coconut milk, use macadamia nut milk in a 1:1 ratio, making it perfect for smoothies, desserts, and creamy sauces. Its luxurious consistency works well in both hot and cold dishes, enhancing flavors without overwhelming them.

Whole Milk

Bottle of whole milk on burlap with walnuts in the background

Whole dairy milk is a noteworthy substitute for coconut milk, 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.

To substitute, use a 1:1 ratio or enrich whole milk with a bit of butter or cream to mimic coconut milk's fat content. It's best used in recipes without a dominant coconut flavor, such as in baking, creamy sauces, or soups. I recommend whisking in coconut oil or coconut flavoring to add a coconut flavor.

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.

Hemp Milk

Jar of hemp milk

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

Hemp milk can be used in a 1:1 ratio, offering a lighter alternative that is still rich in nutrients. It is ideal for those seeking a plant-based option with a flavor profile different from coconut milk.

It 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. 

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.