Coconut Milk Substitute – 9 Healthy Swaps You Shouldn’t Miss

Are you looking for coconut milk substitutes that you can use in recipes? Then keep reading this article.

Coconut milk is a milky-white liquid extracted from the grated kernel of the coconut. It is a lactose-free liquid.

Coconut milk is incredibly tasty because of its oil content and saturated fat.

It is a popular ingredient in many traditional recipes of South and East Asia and Oceania and East Africa. It gives a delicious taste and creamy texture to the dishes and cuisines.

You may want to try different replacements for coconut milk for some reason or another.

9 Simple substitutes for coconut milk

Unavailability of fresh coconut, allergic, or for taste reasons, you may want to find alternatives to coconut milk.

Fortunately, you can find enough substitutes for it in your pantry itself.

Here are 9 healthy coconut milk substitutes that you can use with confidence. You can alter them according to the taste needs and suitability of your recipes.

1. Almond milk

Almond milk is an excellent replacement for any plant milk. It goes well with cereals or smoothies and in baking.

Almond milk does not modify the taste of your dishes as it has a neutral flavor. In addition, low-calorie almond milk is a boon to dieters.

You can confidently replace coconut milk with almond milk.

Importantly, it does not provide the creaminess of coconut milk because of the low-fat content in it.  Nonetheless, you can make it thick by adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to 1 cup of almond milk.

2. Oat milk

Oat milk is a healthy substitute for any plant milk.

It has low-fat content compared to coconut milk but higher carbohydrates and sweetness.

Oat milk contains beta-glucan, a healthy fiber for better digestion.

Compared to other plant milk, it doesn’t curdle and is suitable for use in recipes cooked in high heat.

You can swap coconut milk with Oat milk in a 1:1 ratio.

3. Soy milk

You can easily substitute coconut milk with soy milk. It has a creamy consistency.

Soy milk is rich in protein. One cup of soy milk contains appropriately 7 grams of protein.

Another good reason to use soy milk is its low-fat content in comparison to coconut.

Also, soy milk fits well into most of the recipes.  You can swap it with coconut milk in a 1:1 ratio

Some may find soy milk to be unpleasantly chalky, and others describe the taste as “beany.” Adding a little coconut flavor essence to it can turn around the taste.

Related Topics: 7 Coconut Oil Substitutes With Proven Health Benefits

4. Cashew milk

Cashew milk has a smooth and creamy texture. It is quite identical to the cow’s milk in consistency and looks.

It is rich in protein but contains more fat than coconut milk.

Cashew milk fits well into soups, sauces, and smoothies.

If you are preparing a creamy recipe, then cashew milk is a good alternative to coconut milk.

5. Rice milk

Rice milk is grain milk made from rice. It is mostly made from brown rice and is commonly unsweetened.

It has a thinner consistency than coconut milk. It may not suit vegetable recipes, or sauces because of its high water content. But it works fine for desserts, smoothies, and oatmeal.

You can swap coconut milk with rice milk in a 1:1 ratio.

Related article: Does Coconut Oil For Sunburn Work?

6. Hemp milk

Hemp milk is a good plant-based alternative to cow’s milk and coconut milk.

It is extracted from the whole hemp seeds. It contains good quality plant proteins, healthy fats, minerals, and vitamins.

It is sweeter than coconut milk and tastes nutty.  Hemp milk works well in baking because of its sweetness.

If you are interchanging it with coconut milk, then use it in a 1:1 ratio.

7. Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt is a healthy alternative to coconut milk. It suits well for creamy recipes because of its thick consistency.

Since it has a thicker consistency than coconut milk, you may add 1 tablespoon of water to the Greek yogurt while substituting. The substituting ratio of these two remains in equal quantity.

Greek yogurt tastes tangy like lemon and less sweet than coconut milk. If you are looking for a nutty taste, then you may want to add a little coconut essence to it.

Related article: Virgin Coconut Oil – Making and Characteristics Explained

8. Silken tofu

Silken tofu is undrained and unpressed tofu made from condensed soy milk.

It is a vegan ingredient commonly used in sauces, desserts, smoothies, and soups.

Silken tofu is rich in healthy protein, calcium, and other minerals. It contains lower fat than coconut milk.

It has high water content and does not have the creamy consistency of coconut milk. For this reason, when you are substituting coconut milk with silken tofu, blend the silken tofu with soy milk in equal parts.

9. Spiced milk and Evaporated Milk

Spiced cow’s milk has a creamy consistency like coconut milk. The flavor depends on the combination of spices used in it.

It is suitable for use in soups and desserts.

You can also use evaporated milk instead of coconut milk in creamy dishes and soups. It is interchangeable in a 1:1 ratio.

Warning: Cow’s milk is not suitable for people who do not consume dairy products for health reasons.

Replacement For Coconut Milk

Using Other Coconut Products as Coconut Milk Substitute

Instead of coconut milk, you can use other coconut products. These are for those who cannot do without coconut in their cooking.

Coconut in kernel in any form is useful to turn your curry into a creamy and aromatic delight.

These substitutes are handy when you do not have the fresh coconut for making the milk.

1. Coconut cream

Coconut cream is in thick consistency with a lot more coconut flesh than milk. It gives the same flavor and taste to the cuisines as the milk does. However, it makes the curry thicker.

Please be warned, coconut cream contains much more fat and calories compared to milk.


  • 4 tablespoons of coconut cream
  • Half-a-cup water
  • Mix them with the help of a blender
  • Blend till it turns to a milk-like consistency

2. Coconut flakes

You can make your coconut milk at home with coconut flakes. Ready-to-use dry coconut flakes you can buy from stores.


  • ¼ cup of coconut flakes
  • ¾ cup of water
  • Boil the mixture for 5 minutes
  • Blend the boiled mixture in the blender till it becomes smooth
  • Strain if required

3. Coconut water

Coconut water is another alternative to coconut milk. It may not give the exact taste and flavor of the milk, yet it can provide a delicious nutty taste.

Coconut water is a good source of electrolytes. It can thicken and emulsify dishes like milk.

Warning: The sweetness of coconut water can make add mild sweetness to your dishes and add more calories.

Best for: smoothies, sorbet.

The bottom line

Coconut milk is a tasty ingredient that works well for making creamy recipes with a nutty taste.

In case of non-availability of coconut milk or for other reasons, you have several other replacements for it.

Most nut milk is an excellent substitute for coconut milk. Others include rice milk, soya milk, and cow’s milk products in a creamy texture.

You can swap the milk in a 1:1 ratio. If you want to have a coconut taste in your recipes, you may have to add coconut flavoring to some of the substitutes.