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Instant Pot Coconut Rice (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Instant Pot Coconut Rice – This pressure cooker Coconut Rice is SO easy to make and makes a delicious side dish to all your favorite main dishes. (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Overhead view of fluffy Instant Pot Coconut Rice garnished with toasted coconut and cilantro

So…we eat kind of a lot of rice around here.

It’s versatile, it’s gluten-free(!), and it goes with SO MANY different kinds of dishes. It also feels like a huge win that both my children will happily eat rice without any fuss. Since my kids were babies, I’ve used this to my advantage during the picky eater years, and I made our rice a little more sustaining by cooking it in homemade bone broth for some added protein, or coconut milk for some healthy fats.

It’s worked like a charm over the years, and today I’m sharing one way we make this even easier: making coconut rice in the Instant Pot!

Instant Pot Coconut Rice isn’t much speedier than making it on the stovetop, but it is VERY hands-off, which is what I need during “the dinner rush” of trying to help kids with homework, or pulling together our main dish. Like our Instant Pot Brown Rice, this method is all about using your ingredients in the right ratios, and the end result is light, fluffy coconut rice that works well with ALL The Things. (ALL of them.)

Here’s all you need to get started…

Overhead view of ingredients for Instant Pot coconut rice on a cutting board

Here’s What Goes Into Our Instant Pot Coconut Rice Recipe:

  • White Basmati Rice. Long-grain white basmati rice is my go-to choice for Instant Pot coconut rice. It’s works beautifully here–holding its shape and letting the coconut flavor shine.
  • A Tiny Bit of Sugar (Optional). You don’t *have* to add the sugar, but it really highlights the coconut flavor in this rice and makes it just a bit more special. I recommend it, if you can!
  • Salt. A bit of salt helps balance those flavors.
  • Light Coconut Milk. Our Instant Pot Coconut Rice gets its coconut flavor from light coconut milk. It has a lighter flavor and is less thick than full-fat coconut milk, making it easier for the rice to absorb.
  • Any Garnishes You’d Like. Once you’ve cooked your coconut rice, you can serve it plain or add your favorite garnishes, like toasted shredded coconut, cilantro or fresh mint, toasted almonds, or red pepper flakes!

PSST! I’m using a 6-quart Instant Pot for this recipe. Works like a charm! I recommend it for all my Instant Pot recipes.

Close up view of Instant Pot Coconut Rice

How To Make Instant Pot Coconut Rice, Step-By-Step:

  1. Add rice to your Instant Pot.
  2. Add sugar (if using), salt, and coconut milk.
  3. Stir just enough to tuck the rice grains into the liquid (don’t stir too much or you’ll make the mixture too starchy)
  4. Secure the lid and set to HIGH PRESSURE/MANUAL for 6 minutes.
  5. After the 6 minutes, allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes.
  6. Quick-release the remaining steam
  7. Fluff the rice with a fork and add any desired garnishes.
  8. Store leftover cooled rice in the refrigerator and use within 2-3 days.
Overhead view of Instant Pot Coconut Rice with Butter Chicken
Overhead view of a bowl of paleo coconut shrimp curry with colorful veggies, crushed peanuts, and a fresh lime wedge

What To Serve With Coconut Rice

Anything with Asian-inspired flavors (like curry or stir-fry) pairs especially nicely with our Instant Pot Coconut Rice. Some of our favorites include:

You can also serve it as a simple side dish next to all kinds of main dishes where you might serve rice pilaf or traditional white rice.

Front view of Instant Pot Coconut Rice with Butter Chicken

FAQ + Tips and Tricks For the Best Instant Pot Coconut Rice:

How Long Does Coconut Rice Stay Fresh? Like most cooked rice, you really don’t want to leave it too long before eating it, so Instant Pot coconut rice is best used within 2-3 days. The USDA says you can go up to 3-4, but I’ve found this works best within 2-3 days.

Can You Freeze Coconut Rice? You can! I love to freeze cooked rice in advance for busy nights. Freeze the rice in a thin layer in an airtight freezer-safe bag and lay flat in the freezer until it’s frozen solid.

Can I Use Brown Rice Instead? This Instant Pot coconut rice recipe was specifically timed and formulated with white rice in mind. You’d need to adjust both the cook time and the amount of liquid for it to work with brown rice, so I don’t recommend trying to substitute it here. If you like brown rice, you might appreciate our Instant Pot Brown Rice post that has some tips about flavoring brown rice.

Do You Need To Rinse The Rice First? When I make rice on the stovetop, I always rinse it in a fine mesh sieve, but for Instant Pot rice, I don’t rinse it. It can throw off  the liquid to rice ratio a bit. If you prefer rinsing, feel free, just know your rice may be slightly more wet than mine.

My rice isn’t as soft as I’d like! What do I do? No worries. If, after cooking your rice isn’t as soft as you’d like, add 1-2 Tbsp water or coconut milk to the Instant Pot and re-secure the lid. Leave it to steam for 2-3 minutes, and try it again. Repeat as needed.

Front view of fluffy Instant Pot Coconut Rice garnished with toasted coconut and cilantro
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Overhead view of fluffy Instant Pot Coconut Rice garnished with toasted coconut and cilantro

Instant Pot Coconut Rice (Vegan, Gluten-Free)


  • Author: One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: About 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings (about 3 cups) 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

This Instant Pot Coconut Rice is SO easy to make and makes a delicious side dish to all your favorite main dishes. (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Total Time Breakdown: 10-12 minutes to come to pressure + 6 minutes to cook + 10 minutes natural release + 2 minutes quick/manual release = about 30 minutes total.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 23 tsp. sugar (optional, but will make the rice taste more coconut-y)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 cups light coconut milk**

Optional garnishes: shredded coconut or toasted coconut, minced cilantro or fresh mint, toasted almonds, red pepper flakes, etc.


Instructions

  1. Add rice to your Instant Pot.
  2. Add sugar (if using), salt, and coconut milk.
  3. Stir just enough to tuck the rice grains into the liquid and make sure there aren’t any clumps on the bottom (don’t stir too much or you’ll make the mixture too starchy).
  4. Secure the lid and set to HIGH PRESSURE/MANUAL for 6 minutes.
  5. After the 6 minutes, allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes.
  6. Quick-release the remaining steam
  7. Fluff the rice with a fork and add any desired garnishes.
  8. Store leftover cooled rice in the refrigerator and use within about 3 days.

Notes

**If you prefer softer rice, you can increase the liquid by 2-4 Tbsp. As written, this rice will be fully cooked and tender but hold its shape, like restaurant rice. 

  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: instant pot coconut rice, pressure cooker coconut rice, coconut rice recipe, vegan coconut rice

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