Coconut rice with sweet peas recipe made with easy ingredients that can be made in 25 minutes. This twist on traditional rice is the perfect accompaniment to all main dishes.

How do you make coconut rice? It takes only a few ingredients to make this aromatic white basmati rice dish.  Add some peas and lime zest which makes it taste even better

Even the most cooking-challenged person can make this for special occasions.

You don’t need any special ingredients.  Everything you need for this popular recipe will be in your pantry

Overhead view of a white bowl with coconut rice and peas

Tips for making it

1) Always rinse the rice in cold water, regardless of the type of rice you use. I used about 2 cups of water. 

2) Cooking rice first before adding any of the ingredients. Drain using a fine-mesh sieve and fluff rice by stirring with a fork.

3) Keep the heat at medium heat throughout the cooking process. If you don’t have basmati rice, use any white rice that is also a long grain rice. Jasmine rice will work too.

4) Always use full fat coconut milk to make coconut rice.  If you can find fresh coconut milk, use that. But, if not, canned coconut milk will work too.

Sweet vs savory?

Coconut rice can be on the sweet side if you add desecrated sweet coconut.  I have seen a few Thai restaurants serve it that way. It’s common practice in Singapore cuisine too.

Sometimes, I like to change up the cuisine and add some homemade Greek seasoning, za’atar spice, or homemade Cuban seasoning

I took this coconut rice and made a delicious vegan quesadilla recipe! With melted cheese, this coconut rice is the best comfort food ever!

If you prefer a plain coconut rice recipe, feel free to skip the peas and cilantro garnish.

Front view of a white bowl with coconut rice and peas
Coconut rice is very aromatic and very versatile!

Other ingredients to add

My version of rice has only 5 main ingredients: rice, peas, cilantro, lime juice, salt and oil.  It’s the bare essentials of an easy rice recipe that you can build upon.

Have leftover coconut milk? I like to turn it into a coconut sorbet! You won’t believe how easy it is.

If you want to cook frozen peas separately, I have a very easy recipe for cooking them in the Instant Pot.

Portrait view of a white bowl with coconut rice and peas
A big bowl of this coconut rice is exactly what you need today.

Coconut milk or coconut cream?

Make coconut rice with coconut milk because it doesn’t add any strong flavors to the rice. If you want to make your own homemade coconut milk and use it in this recipe, you will be rewarded with a delicious taste.

Too much coconut cream will ruin this recipe, so just 1 Tbsp of it. Sweeten coconut rice in another way. Adding things like raisins or dried cranberries will add the right amount of sweetness.

Everything you add to this rice will only make it better. It’s the king of any flavorful side dish.

Answering Common Questions

What does it taste like?

This recipe is inspired by Caribbean rice recipes. The emphasis is on a few ingredients that taste like coconut mostly and a little bit of saltiness. With the addition of sweetness, this rice recipe is sweet and coconutty.

What kind of spices can be added to it?

Black pepper, turmeric, coriander powder, and allspice berries bring amazing flavors to this recipe. If you are in the Caribbean, this rice can be served with hot peppers like the very spicy whole scotch bonnet pepper or habanero pepper! Make sure you have milk on standby if you are going to try those peppers!

Why should rice be rinsed?

When rice is packed, they have husk dust or some rice might have been crushed in the process of transporting it.  This makes a powder out of them and gets incorporated into recipes. 
All of these junk additions will take away from the taste of its delicious flavor.

What is the cooking time for the rice?

It takes about 20 minutes to cook 1 cup of rice on the stovetop. Normally, I make a huge pot of rice and store leftovers or extra rice in a glass airtight container.

How long with coconut rice last?

Use this rice dish within 3-4 days. Coconut rice will start to get slimy after that.

Try these delicious rice recipes

1) Mexican Fried Rice

2) Saffron rice recipe

3) Brown Rice Pudding

4) Pineapple Fried Rice

5) Vegan fried rice made in the Instant Pot

6) Peanut rice

There is just something so comforting about eating cooked rice after a bad day. It’s the ultimate comfort food that will lift you up!

Sharing is caring

Don’t be shy, chime in below in the comments (under the recipe card). Let me hear your opinion on this recipe. If you enjoyed this, please give it a 5 star rating and share it on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube.

Closeup view of a white bowl filled with coconut rice and green peas.

Coconut Rice

Coconut rice recipe made with easy ingredients that can be made in 25 minutes. Rinse the rice, add cooked peas, coconut milk. Garnish with lime and cilantro
5 from 46 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 2 people
Calories 850 kcal



  • In a medium sauce pan, add rice. Place the pan under a tap and fill it up half way.
  • Using your fingers, stir the rice until you see the water start to turn cloudy
  • Drain most of the water without straining the rice.
  • Repeat the above 3 steps two more times
  • Fill the rice with water.  I tend to fill up the pan about 3/4 of the way.
  • Place the pan on the stove top and set it to boil on medium heat
  • Stir it frequently using a fork
  • When the rice has fluffed to about 3 times its size (about 20 min), turn off the heat.
  • Use a sieve to drain all the water. 
  • Using a fork, stir the rice. This will aerate it and make them fluffy. Set it aside
  • While the rice is cooking, prepare the peas.
  • In a medium pan, warm the extra virgin olive oil on medium heat
  • Add peas and salt to the oil
  • Cook for 5 minutes (do not brown them)
  • Turn off the heat and let it stay on the stove.
  • When the rice is done, gently add it to the peas
  • Add coconut milk and mix well
  • Transfer to a serving bowl
  • Garnish with cilantro and lime zest before serving



Serving: 2peopleCalories: 850kcalCarbohydrates: 124gProtein: 16gFat: 32gSaturated Fat: 22gSodium: 1188mgPotassium: 585mgFiber: 5gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 555IUVitamin C: 30.9mgCalcium: 77mgIron: 5.9mg
Keyword how do you make coconut rice?, Savory coconut rice
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

** This is an Updated version of the recipe post.  It was originally posted on Apr 21, 2017 at 10:30pm.  The new version has the same images (scaled to fit the blog) and the same recipe.  The original text has been updated with the current text to be more informative for you.  Also, video was added to the updated version. 

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5 from 46 votes (45 ratings without comment)

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  1. This sou D’s like a good dish. One thought, I think you want to say “desecated” coconut, not “descrated”.

  2. Wow! This was my entire dinner tonight. I’ve never rinsed my rice before and I’ve never made Basmati rice. I’m hooked. This whole recipe was one new experience after another. I now have a new way of cooking rice. Hopefully I’ll be amazing people with my new rice cooking skills in the future.

    1. Thank you so much, Karen. I am so happy that you like it. Rinsing the rice makes all the difference in taste. You will definitely wow people with your rice recipe.