Best Substitutes For Coconut Milk: 9 Healthy Swaps

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. Both coconut milk and cream are great vegan substitutes for heavy cream in baking.

Coconut milk is incredibly tasty because of its oil content and saturated fat. Canned coconut milk is a popular pantry item that’s easily available,

It is popular in many traditional South and East Asia, Oceania, and East African recipes. It gives a delicious taste and creamy texture to dishes and cuisines.

Try different substitutes for coconut milk for one reason or another.

9 Simple Substitutes For Coconut Milk 

Due to the unavailability of fresh coconut, allergies, or taste reasons, you may want to find alternatives to coconut milk.

Many curry recipes call for coconut milk to thicken a sauce and make it creamy. Fortunately, you can find enough substitutes for it in your pantry.

Whole milk works great in place of coconut milk for it has the closest consistency to coconut milk.

Usually, any heavy cream like whipping cream is a popular substitute for coconut milk because of its high fat content. But heavy creams aren’t nutritious as plant-based milk.
Here are 9 healthy coconut milk substitutes that you can use with confidence. They are non-dairy milk products with higher fat content.  You can alter them according to your recipes’ taste needs and suitability.

1. Almond milk

Almond milk is an excellent replacement for any plant milk. It goes well with cereals, smoothies, and baking. To my finding, almond milk is one of the best coconut milk substitutes.

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 have the creaminess of coconut milk because of its low-fat content. Nonetheless, you can make it thicker by adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to 1 cup of almond milk.

2. Oat milk

Oat milk is a healthy non-dairy substitute for any plant milk.

It has a low-fat content but higher carbohydrates and sweetness than coconut milk.

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

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

You can swap a cup of coconut milk for a cup of oat milk.

3. Soy milk

Soy milk is an excellent replacement for coconut milk. It has a creamy consistency.

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

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

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 unpleasant, and others describe the taste as “beany.” Adding a little coconut flavor essence to it can change the taste.

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4. Cashew milk

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

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

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

If you prepare a creamy recipe, 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. Its high water content may not suit vegetable recipes or sauces. But it works fine for desserts, smoothies, and oatmeal.

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

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6. Hemp milk

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

Hemp milk is made from soaked 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 replace it with coconut milk, use it in a 1:1 ratio.

7. Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt is a healthy alternative to coconut milk. It suits creamy recipes well 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 equal.

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

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8. Silken tofu

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

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

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

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

9. Spiced 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 unsuitable for people who do not consume dairy products for health reasons.

Replacement For Coconut Milk

Using Other Coconut Products as Coconut Milk Substitutes

Instead of coconut milk, you can use other coconut products. These are for those who can only do with coconut in their cooking.

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

These substitutes are handy when you do not have fresh coconut to make the milk.

1. Coconut cream

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

Please be warned coconut cream contains much more fat and calories than 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 are available in 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 have the exact taste and flavor of 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 add mild sweetness to your dishes and add more calories. Best for: smoothies, sorbet

Final Thought

Coconut milk is typically a tasty ingredient that works well for making creamy recipes in cooking and baking with a nutty taste. It’s extracted from shredded coconut meat.

In the event of the 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, macadamia nut milk, soy, and cow’s milk products with a creamy texture.

You can swap the milk in a 1:1 ratio. Add coconut flavoring to some substitutes if you want a coconut taste in your recipes.

The ultimate list of suitable substitutes for coconut milk are:


  • Whole milk is the closest sub in terms of taste and texture.
  • Heavy cream thickens soups and sauces.
  • Sour cream adds sourness but can be used in a pinch.


  • Cashew milk is creamy and neutral, a good all-purpose sub.
  • Almond milk is lighter and can be thickened with cornstarch.
  • Soy milk is slightly sweet and thin.
  • Oat milk is mild and thin.


  • Evaporated milk is thicker, good if you need it.
  • Coconut cream is the thickest part of coconut milk and can be used in most recipes.
  • Shredded coconut can be soaked in water or milk to create a creamy sub.

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