19 Sweet and Savory Coconut Recipes You’ll Love

Slice of coconut creme pie
Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

The sheer number of recipes in our archive that use coconut and coconut products attests to how versatile and beloved the ingredient is. In addition to fresh and desiccated coconut flesh, coconut milk, coconut cream, coconut water, coconut oil, and coconut vinegar are found in countless recipes on our site. In this recipe collection, we focus on newer coconut recipes for the most part, with a few golden coconut oldies thrown in for good measure. There are many more to choose from, including several Thai curries and vegan ice creams. So, if you’re not seeing anything here that hits the spot, please do not let this list stop your search!

For those of you who are working with fresh coconuts, don’t miss Daniel Gritzer‘s primer on how to open a coconut, or our step-by-step guide for making fresh coconut milk.

Savory Recipes

Chickpea, Coconut, and Cashew Curry

Overhead view of Chickpea, Coconut, and Cashew Curry, served with rice and toasty flatbread.
Serious Eats / Andrew Janjigian

This curry is intensely flavored with garam masala and ginger, cooled by coconut milk, and studded with ground, toasted cashews.

Nasi Lemak (Malaysian Coconut Rice)

Overhead view of Nasi Lemak
Serious Eats / Michelle Yip

Frequently served with toppings like sambal tumis and dried anchovies, this coconut rice is a popular Malaysian breakfast.

Coconut Shrimp

Closeup of a coconut shrimp being dipped into a small bowl of sauce.
Serious Eats / J. Kenji López-Alt

Here, a crunchy, thick crust of panko and aromatic shredded coconut surrounds juicy, perfectly cooked shrimp.

Njahi (Kenyan Black Beans) in Coconut Sauce

a dutch oven with Kenyan njahi beans in a coconut sauce with a bowl of white rice to the side
Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

In this recipe, Kenyan njahi beans are cooked until tender, then finished in an aromatic coconut curry sauce. If you can’t find njahi beans, generic black beans will work as well, with a slight modification to the recipe.

Tom Kha Gai (Thai Chicken Soup with Coconut and Galangal)

Overhead view of Tom Kha Gai
Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Derek Lucci‘s recipe for this classic Thai soup balances coconut cream and chicken stock to create the perfect light-yet-creamy broth, infused with the flavors of galangal, lemongrass, chiles, and makrut lime leaves.

Bharazi (Pigeon Peas in Coconut Cream)

Overhead view of a bowl of Bharazi (Pigeon Peas in Coconut Cream), served with a side of mandazi (coconut doughnuts).
Serious Eats / Jillian Atkinson

Bharazi is a dish of pigeon peas simmered in coconut milk, typically served for breakfast along with mandazi, or sweet coconut donuts. If you’re craving coconut, this is the perfect one-two punch: sop up coconut-simmered beans with coconut fritters.

Bicol Express (Filipino Stew With Pork, Coconut, and Chiles)

Bikol Express in light green bowl next to a bowl of rice
Serious Eats / Rezel Kealoha

Here, chunks of pork shoulder are browned and then simmered with onion, garlic, ginger, coconut milk, and coconut cream. As the pork turns meltingly tender, the braising liquid reduces, becoming deliciously concentrated and caramelized.

Coconut- and Ají Amarillo–Braised Chicken

Closeup of Coconut- and Ají Amarillo–Braised Chicken, served in a black bowl with boiled yuca.
Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

In this recipe from Sohla El-Waylly, aji amarillo paste and coconut milk transform a one-pot meal into a complex, flavorful dish.

Coconut Chutney

Closeup of a bow of coconut chutney, topped with a tadka of mustard seeds, split lentils, and asafoetida.
Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Some sauces are too essential to the dishes they are served with to be categorized as mere condiments. Take this coconut chutney, which Sohla insists “Indian dishes like idlis and dosai would be naked without.” Of course, this rich chutney is good on plenty of other items, including grilled fish and vegetables.

Sweet Recipes

Coconut Cream Pie

Slice of coconut creme pie
Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

Filled with a rich custard and topped with whipped cream and toasted flaked coconut, this coconut cream pie is fragrant, nutty, and a delight to eat.

Chè Chuối (Vietnamese Banana, Tapioca, and Coconut Milk Dessert)

Overhead view of finished che on a platter with peanut toppings
Serious Eats / Vy Tran

This delightfully rich and creamy coconut milk–based soup makes a great snack to satisfy a sugar craving or a heady dessert to cap off a meal.

Suman (Filipino Steamed Sticky Rice Cakes)

Overhead view of suman next to a cut mango topped with sugar
Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Steaming coconut sticky rice cakes in banana leaf parcels gives the rice a tinge of green and imparts a floral fragrance. Serve with a generous sprinkle of muscovado sugar or a side of sweet, ripe mango. If you’re fresh out of banana leaves or just short on time, stick with the classic Thai dessert of glutinous sticky rice, seasoned with salty-sweet coconut milk and served with tender, fragrant slices of mango.

Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge With Coconut and Condensed Milks

Closeup of Jamaican cornmeal porridge, served in a small bowl.
Serious Eats / Daniel Gritzer

Infused with the flavors of nutmeg, vanilla, bay leaf, coconut, brown sugar, and condensed milk, this creamy Jamaican porridge is absolutely delicious.

Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Macaroons

A chocolate-drizzled coconut macaroon on parchment paper.
Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

These macaroons are chewy on the inside, crunchy on the outside, and coconutty all the way through. If you’re looking for a more chocolaty treat, try Yvonne Ruperti‘s recipe for double chocolate macaroons.

Biko (Filipino Sticky Rice Cake)

closeup of biko, slcied into squares and served on a splatter-painted plate.
Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

This sticky and sweet rice cake gets a triple dose of coconut flavor, thanks to the coconut oil used to grease the pan, the muscovado–coconut milk caramel mixed in with the rice and glazed on top, and, finally, the crispy coconut curd crumbles that are sprinkled on each slice.

Pengat Pisang (Malaysian Banana Coconut Soup)

Overhead view of Pengat Pisang
Serious Eats / Michelle Yip

This delightful Malaysian dessert with pleasantly chewy sago pearls, bananas, and coconut milk is the best kind of pick-me-up.

Kaya Toast

Side view of stack of kaya toast
Serious Eats / Michelle Yip

Here, kaya—a rich, velvety coconut jam with deep butterscotch notes—is layered with thick slabs of butter on toast for a sweet, tropical breakfast sandwich.

Triple Coconut Cake

A slice of triple coconut cake stands upright on a plate. The rest of the layer cake is visible in the background.
Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Stella’s description of this “regal beast” says it all: “three layers of fluffy cake, infused with natural coconut from the inside out, slathered in a creamy coconut frosting, drenched in caramelized white chocolate coconut ganache, and crusted over in toasted coconut. In short, layers upon layers of coconut flavor at every turn.” What’s not to like?

Ultra-Tropical Piña Colada

Side view of a pina colada
Serious Eats / Two Bites

For his take on this classic cocktail, Daniel freezes the pineapple and coconut milk first, which allows you to use less ice, leading to a more flavorful, less diluted drink. If you would prefer to enjoy this cocktail in a frozen, on-a-stick format, check out Kristina Razon’s recipe for boozy piña colada popsicles.