Best Substitutes For Coconut Milk

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Everything begins with a can of coconut milk. This underappreciated superstar adds creaminess and flavor to everything from curries and soups to marinades and stews for chicken, smoothies, and baked goods. Without a question, we have a wonderfully versatile item here, as well as one that is healthful and acceptable for a vegan or lactose-free diet, all of which contribute to its growing appeal.

If you run out of coconut milk or choose not to use it for any reason, you may rely on a coconut milk alternative. There are various dairy and non-dairy substitutes, but bear in mind that they will not completely replicate the flavor of coconut unless you use a coconut-based replacement or make some changes to your recipe.

On the other hand, utilizing a replacement to obtain a thick consistency equal to that of coconut milk is a simpler process. Without further ado, here are the top coconut milk alternatives.

Coconut Cream

Why not use another member of the coconut family for increased creaminess without changing the flavor? Consider coconut cream. It might be difficult to tell the difference between coconut milk and coconut cream at times, but the key distinction is in their consistency and concentration.

Coconut cream is the fattier variant of coconut milk. It has a thicker consistency and a greater saturated fat content. To substitute coconut milk with coconut cream, combine 2 teaspoons coconut cream with 2 cups water. Feel free to add a bit extra water to the cream for a lighter texture.

Not to be confused with cream of coconut, which is a significantly sweetened variant of coconut milk comparable to condensed milk. Coconut cream is mostly used in pia coladas and other drinks or desserts.

Other coconut-based milk alternatives include:

  • Coconut water is a transparent liquid with a faint taste and a low calorie count. It has good hydrating characteristics and may be used as a natural nutritious drink. It is also beneficial to dieters. A decent coconut milk substitute is to combine it with heavy cream.
  • Flaked coconut is greater in size than dried or shredded coconut. It adds texture to savory dishes like Thai curries and may be used in sweet baked products. The flakes may also be used to make coconut milk. Simply bring a cup of water to a boil, then add a cup of unsweetened coconut flakes. After 5 minutes, transfer the mixture to a blender. If necessary, blend and strain.
  • Coconut milk powder: Powdered coconut milk is a cheaper alternative to canned coconut milk that has the same taste. It has a lengthy shelf life and is quite simple to manufacture. You can make milk by combining it with water, or you can sprinkle it in smoothies and use it as a frosting on cake and doughnuts.

Almond Milk

If you don’t like the flavor of coconut, you may substitute almond milk (be sure to buy the unsweetened kind). Almond milk and coconut milk are both vegan and lactose-free alternatives to cow’s milk that may be drunk raw or used successfully in cooking and baking preparations.

Almond milk has less fat and calories while providing more calcium and potassium. Furthermore, it has higher salt and less protein. Almond’s sweet nutty taste makes it a wonderful substitute in sweets, smoothies, and cereals.

However, because of its thinner consistency, it may not be the greatest choice for thick curry sauces. This may not matter if your curry sauce is designed to be thin in the first place, but if you want to thicken it, whisk 1 teaspoon cornstarch into the milk before adding it to your curry.

Soy Milk

Soy milk is an excellent dairy-free substitute for coconut milk. Because of its great nutritional content, it is most equivalent to cow milk. It has more protein than other plant milks and is high in fiber and healthy fats.

If you follow a vegan diet, be sure to buy calcium-fortified soy milk that is ideally unsweetened.

Soy milk may be used in lieu of coconut milk in a 1:1 ratio. Because it is thinner than coconut milk, you may need to thicken it with cornflour. Coconut essence may be added to soy milk to give it a coconut flavor.

Other plant-based alternatives include:

  • Oat milk is an excellent replacement for coffee, lattes, and other high-heat dishes.
  • Cashew milk is great for soups, sauces, salad dressings, and mashed potatoes.
  • Rice milk is thinner than coconut milk and is suitable for use in smoothies, porridge, and puddings.
  • Hemp milk is low in calories and high in protein. It has a comparable feel to cow milk, making it suitable for latte art and baking dishes.
  • Macadamia milk is a sweet and creamy nut milk that may be used in desserts, savory foods, and hot and cold drinks.

Heavy Cream

Moving on from non-dairy options to dairy-based alternatives, heavy cream is at the top of our list. It has more fat than coconut milk and may be used in lieu of it in equal amounts.

Heavy cream is ideal for high-fat dishes such as thick soups, sauces, curries, rich desserts, and ice cream due to its thick creamy texture.

Evaporated Milk

Evaporated milk, often known as unsweetened condensed milk, is canned cows milk that has 60% less water than fresh milk. This gives it a creamier texture than plain fresh milk. It has a viscosity close to half-and-half and a somewhat sweet taste.

You may substitute it for coconut milk in a variety of creamy foods, soups, baking recipes, and dessert toppings. Pour it on cereal or into drinks. The main disadvantage is that it does not taste like coconut, but this can easily remedied by adding a little amount of coconut essence or coconut oil to it.

Greek Yogurt

If you’re searching for a healthy alternative to coconut milk, Greek yogurt is a terrific option. It is excellent in nutrients and has less saturated fat than coconut milk.

Because it has a similar thick viscosity as coconut milk, it may be used in lieu of coconut milk to add creaminess to sauces, soups, and other meals. Before using it in cooking or baking, dilute it with a little water.

Sour Cream

Sour cream, another acidic dairy product with a unique taste, may be used to thicken sauces, Indian curries, and soups. Use with caution. If your recipe contains additional acidic ingredients, you may need to use less of them or make other modifications.

Sour cream is perfect for cake icing and baking. Sour cream combined with thawed coconut yields the most luscious and delicious coconut sour cream cake ever!

Silken Tofu

Soy milk is used to make silken tofu. It is lower in fat and calories than coconut milk and may be used in its stead (at a 1:1 ratio) if combined with the same amount of soy milk and blended into a creamy beverage.
Tofu is high in protein, calcium, and iron, which makes it popular among vegans and people who avoid dairy for other reasons.


Half-and-half is equal parts whole milk and heavy cream. It’s quite flexible and lends depth to a variety of dishes. It’s also incredibly simple to make at home by combining equal parts ordinary milk and cream.
1 cup half-and-half may be substituted by 1 cup coconut milk.

Regular Milk

If you’re out of alternatives, how about using some ordinary milk? Full fat milk is more like the consistency of coconut milk, although 2% fat would suffice. Because coconut milk has a thicker viscosity, use less ordinary milk to replace it.

Cashew Cream

Cashew cream is a thick, creamy dip with a yogurt-like consistency. It’s quite adaptable, and it, like coconut milk, lends smoothness to vegetable-based sauces and soups. It may also be used as a salad dressing or on roasted vegetables.

Furthermore, it is really simple to prepare at home. Simply soak a cup of raw cashews for an hour or overnight, then combine them with a little plant-based milk or water. Add a date to the soak for a sweeter variation.

Other Substitutes

  • Buttermilk
  • Low fat cream cheese
  • Almond paste


What can I use instead of coconut milk?

Here are 11 delicious coconut milk replacements.
Milk made from soy. Soy milk is a fantastic substitute for coconut milk.
Milk made from almonds. Unsweetened almond milk is another possible substitute.
Cacao milk.
Milk made from oats.
Milk made from hemp.
Milk made from rice.
Milk with spices.
Milk that has been evaporated.

What is a good substitute for coconut milk in curry?

Coconut milk that has been diluted. If you’re watching your calories but can’t take giving up the deliciousness of a coconut milk Thai curry, this is the trick for you.
The milk of a cow.
Milk made from nuts.
Milk made from soy.Not all milks are created equal, so here are four alternatives to full-fat coconut milk.
Low in fat

Can I substitute milk for coconut milk in a recipe?

In any recipe, regular cow’s milk may be substituted with coconut milk. Whole milk is the greatest option since it has the closest consistency to coconut milk. In a 1:1 trade, use milk. If it does not thicken the dish enough, add a tablespoon of flour to 1 cup of milk (or similar thickening agent).

What is better for you than coconut milk?

Fortified soymilks (original or unsweetened) are generally the best options since, like nonfat cow’s milk, they include all the good things (calcium, vitamins D and B-12, and protein) while containing none of the bad stuff (saturated fat).

What milk is closest to coconut milk?

Soy, almond, and oat milk, which are naturally dairy-free and have a comparable viscosity, are acceptable replacements. So don’t be concerned if your recipe asks for coconut milk. You may simply replace coconut milk with another nondairy milk in a one-to-one ratio.

What is a substitute for 1 cup of coconut milk?

2 cup water. You won’t get the additional coconutty flavors, but you won’t notice in most foods.Regular whipped cream is a simple coconut milk substitution if you don’t mind dairy. Because cream has more fat, you may want to dilute it with water. 1 cup cream plus 1

How do you thicken curry without coconut milk?


Ideal for Chinese sauces and Thai curries, but also works well in Indian curries. Stir one tablespoon cornflour into two or three teaspoons cold water. Pour the ingredients into the sauce and allow it to cook until it thickens.

Do I really need coconut milk for curry?

Curry comes in a variety of flavors, but all of them include coconut milk. This is due to the fact that you want it to have a pleasant taste while also providing a liquid material without being too washed down. Coconut milk sweetens the curry and balances off the heat, producing a lovely balance.

Can I cook curry without coconut milk?

Curry may be made without the use of gata. Did you know that not all curry recipes call for coconut milk? In fact, several people substitute yogurt for its delightful tang and creaminess. Some recipes include no dairy or creamy ingredients at all.

Can I substitute heavy cream for coconut milk?

Coconut milk should have about the same fat content as heavy cream made from dairy. So, when a recipe asks for heavy cream, just replace it with coconut milk – as long as the fat level is the same.

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