Easy Coconut Basmati Rice in the Instant Pot

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This super easy coconut basmati rice in the Instant Pot is incredibly delicious, comes together quickly, and is the perfect healthy side dish to serve alongside your favorite tropical dishes or curries.

Serving bowl of coconut rice with 4 lime wedges and a silver spoon.

One of our favorite meals lately is marinated Jamaican Jerk chicken thighs served alongside tropical coconut rice. It is SO good, and the best part is how easy it is to make this ultra-flavorful rice!

I love using the Instant Pot to make rice. The pressure cooker makes perfect rice every time, and it is more versatile for our family than a rice cooker.

Easy Pressure Cooker Coconut Rice

Coconut rice is a popular dish served in many areas around the world, including many South Asian countries, some Caribbean islands, Latin America, and West Africa.

Traditionally, it is most often made with jasmine rice or long-grain white rice, but for this Instant Pot coconut rice recipe, I am going to share how you can make it with basmati rice.

Why Basmati Rice?

I choose basmati rice for almost all my rice dishes. The reasons are quite simple:

  1. I buy a 50-lb bag of it in bulk at Costco. So…I have a lot of it.
  2. We like the lower glycemic index of basmati rice. Not everyone needs to be concerned about that, but my husband is a type 1 diabetic and we have certainly learned over the last couple of decades which foods are easier for him to manage his blood sugar with.

All that said, clearly we choose basmati for personal reasons. You’re free to choose whatever type of rice you like, but the cooking time will vary. Refer to my rice cooking chart at the end of this post to learn how to adapt your Instant Pot cook time for different types of rice.

Serving bowl of coconut rice with 4 lime wedges and a silver spoon.

Ingredients for Fluffy Coconut Rice in the Instant Pot

For this recipe, you just need a few simple ingredients.

Rice – As mentioned previously, this recipe uses basmati rice. But you can also use jasmine rice, long-grain white rice, or brown rice with some adjustments (see chart at the bottom of the post).

Full-Fat Coconut Milk – Full-fat canned unsweetened coconut milk is needed for this recipe. I have tested this recipe with light coconut milk and do not recommend it. It will cook just fine, but it won’t have much of a coconut flavor. To get the tropical taste, you need the full-fat variety.

Salt ​- A bit of sea salt or pink salt can bring out the natural sweetness of the rice and coconut.

Ingredients for Coconut basmati Rice instant pot.

You will also need an Instant Pot or similar style pressure cooker.

Can I Use a Rice Cooker?

Coconut rice can certainly be made in the rice cooker. However, the ingredient ratios and cook times given in this post are specifically for the pressure cooker. You will need to adjust the liquid and cook time per the instructions for your model of rice cooker.

Simple Instructions

This easy recipe couldn’t be simpler.

dry basmati rice in a mesh colander.

1. Rinse Rice

Measure out 1-cup dry basmatic rice and pour into a mesh colander. Rinse the plain rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Dump the clean rice into the Instant Pot insert.

Pouring liquid into instant pot with rice.

2. Add Ingredients to Pot

Pour the 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk and the 3/4 cup of water into the pot. Sprinkle 1/4 tsp salt over the rice. Use a spoon to stir and spread the rice into an even layer.

Instant Pot control panel reading 7 minutes.

3. Pressure Cook

Set your Instant Pot to High Pressure for 7 minutes. Allow a 10 minute natural release before releasing the remaining pressure and removing the lid.

Serving bowl of coconut rice with 4 lime wedges and a silver spoon.

4. Serve

Serve this coconut rice with whatever main dish you desire! Squeeze a wedge of lime over the rice for extra flavor. See the Serving Suggestions section for suggestions.

Serving bowl of coconut rice with 4 lime wedges and a silver spoon. Hand squeezing a wedge.

Recipe Notes

This recipe makes the perfect side dish for tropical main dishes, or a great carbohydrate base for meal prep recipes. That said, there are special considerations you need to take for reheated rice.

Uncooked rice can contain Bacillus cereus, a type of bacteria that causes food poisoning. Unlike other forms of bacteria, it is not killed with high heat, so the spores survive while the rice is being cooked.

The danger from these spores comes from when the rice is room temperature for too long. At regular room temperatures, these spores grow into bacteria and multiply.

The longer rice is left at room temperature, the more likely the rice is to become unsafe.

In order to prepare and enjoy leftover rice safely, take the following precautions:

Steps for Safely Reheating Rice

1) Cook rice as directed. Once it is cooked, keep the rice hotter than 140°F for serving.
2) Refrigerate immediately after you finish serving. Make sure your refrigerator is below 40°F.
3) Store the rice in shallow airtight containers no more than 3-inches deep. This will ensure the rice cools down as fast as possible, minimizing time in that “danger zone” of temperature between 40° and 140°.
4) Reheat leftovers to at least 165°F.
5) Discard remaining leftovers after 3-4 days.

For more information, check out this super helpful fact sheet from the University of California on reheated rice safety.

Rice Variety Cooking Chart

The chart below gives you some other varieties of rice and how you can tweak the recipe to work for them:

Please note the types of rice carefully! I have only tested long-grain varieties in the Instant Pot. I cannot give cook times for any short-grain varieties. Generally speaking, short grain needs less time and less liquid.

For best results, please use basmati rice or one of the other suggested varieties in the chart above.

Serving Suggestions

You can serve this coconut rice with anything you want! Some ideas are Jamaican jerk chicken, Hawaiian pork, or a delicious curry. I love serving my smoked carrots with hot honey along with this rice for more fun summer flavors.

For another easy Instant Pot rice recipe, try my Instant Pot wild rice instructions!

Leave a Comment & Review

If you loved this recipe, please leave a comment and 5-star review below! It really helps me out. 🙂

Serving bowl of coconut rice with 4 lime wedges and a silver spoon.
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Coconut Rice in the Instant Pot

This creamy rice with a Caribbean flair is the perfect side for any tropical chicken or pork! Also goes great with curries.
Prep Time3 minutes
Cook Time7 minutes
Gradual Release10 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Caribbean, Jamaican
Keyword: coconut rice, instant pot coconut rice
Servings: 6
Calories: 150kcal
Author: Holly Lee
Cost: $4

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 cup basmati rice or long grain rice, but see notes for cook time
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk canned, full fat
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • lime wedges for serving optional

Optional

  • Lime Wedges for Serving

Instructions

  • Rinse the rise under cool water until the water runs clear. Pour the rinsed rice into the Instant Pot insert.
  • Add 1/2 cup coconut milk, 3/4 cup water, and 1/4 tsp salt to the rice. Stir to mix.
  • Place the lid on the Instant Pot and move the valve to the Sealed position. Cook on high pressure for 7 minutes + 10 minute gradual release.
  • When the gradual release is done, remove the lid from the pot carefully. Fluff up the rice and serve with a squeeze of lime wedge if desired.

Notes

The directions as written are for basmati rice. If you would like to use jasmine rice, lower the water to 1/2 cup and cook for 5 minutes, natural release (NR) for 10. For long-grain white rice, use the same amount of water as indicated in the recipe card, but cook for 3 min (+10 NR). For long-grain brown rice, increase the coconut milk by 1/4 cup. Cook for 20 min high pressure + 10 min NR.
Steps for Safely Reheating Rice:
1) Cook rice as directed. Once it is cooked, keep the rice hotter than 140°F for serving.
2) Refrigerate immediately after you finish serving. Make sure your refrigerator is below 40°F.
3) Store the rice in shallow airtight containers no more than 3-inches deep. This will ensure the rice cools down as fast as possible, minimizing time in that “danger zone” of temperature between 40° and 140°.
4) Reheat leftovers to at least 165°F.
5) Discard remaining leftovers after 3-4 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 150kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 102mg | Potassium: 77mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 0.04g | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg

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