Last updated: • By

Substitute for Coconut Milk: Top 10 Coconut Milk Alternatives in 2020

Out of coconut milk? Looking for a cheaper alternative? Or maybe you have allergies?

Now, you want to try a recipe that exclusively uses coconut milk and you don’t know what to do. You’ve come to the right place.

Here, we will list down the best 10 substitutes for coconut milk that you can use to make dishes where you normally use coconut milk. However, You should know that the flavor and consistency of coconut milk cannot be 100% effectively duplicated.

In saying so, we have done our best to make the process of choosing an alternative as easy as possible for you. This article will not only describe what you can do with the substitutes but also their benefits. So, go ahead and grab your substitutes!

Related Topics:

Top 10 Best Substitute for Coconut Milk in Cooking

We have narrowed down the best substitutes for coconut milk. For your convenience, we have also included the dishes that the substitute product is best for and what they are not recommended for. You can check out our Amazon recommendations as well.

01. YOGURT

Substitute for Coconut Milk

First off, we’ll start with one of the most nutritious choices. Yogurts.

If you’re looking to cut down on some calories, this should be your go-to! Along with containing fewer calories than coconut milk, yogurts have less saturated fat, are overflowing with probiotics, proteins, vitamins and have less lactose compared to other dairy substitutes.

The best advantage of yogurt is that it offers the same consistency as that of coconut milk. It bodies the creaminess and richness effortlessly.

If you’re looking for something thicker, you can go for greek yogurt that can hold its own in any dish. It even has less lactose than natural yogurt (just watch out for the quantity as it has a little sharper flavor). And if you want it thinner, all you have to do is add water.

You can experiment with different flavors of yogurts to find the one that fits perfectly with your recipe. You can also consider using coconut flavored greek yogurt.

Best for:

  • Asian dishes, stews, and smoothies.

Not Recommended for:

  • Coffees.

Amazon Product Recommendation:

A good Non-Fat, Non-GMO Project Verified, Protein-Rich and gluten-free with No Added Sugar greek yogurt is FAGE TOTAL, 0% Plain Greek Yogurt.

02. SOY MILK

Another great substitute for coconut milk is soy milk. Made from soybeans, this non-dairy substitute contains very little saturated fat and many healthy nutrients (vitamin D, calcium, protein, etc).

One drawback is that soy milk is slightly thinner in consistency than coconut milk. This can be fixed by mixing one teaspoon (1 tsp) of cornflour (cornstarch) into the milk before using it. Or you can simply opt for soy milk powder where you can easily alter the thickness.

Some recipes are not affected by the consistency of the milk (the sauces can be fairly thin sometimes) which makes soy milk a safe alternative. However, make sure to use an unsweetened, unflavoured version of soy milk as the sweetened ones can change the flavor of the dish. Additionally, you can add coconut oil or coconut flavoring to enhance the richness of the dish.

Best for:

  • Curries, sauces.

Not Recommended for:

  • Coffees or high heat dishes. Soy milk curdles in high heat so avoid using in dishes that require high heat.

Amazon Product Recommendation:

USDA Organic Certified, Non-GMO Project Verified is Westsoy Organic Unsweetened Soymilk.

Other USDA certified calcium and vitamin-enriched options are Pearl Organic Soymilk or organic and gluten-free Eden Soymilk.

Additionally, another option is 100% Organic soybeans, Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, Cholesterol Free, Trans Fat-Free, Lactose-Free Super NutreMill Instant Soymilk Powder.

03. EVAPORATED MILK

Another top choice is evaporated milk. Dairy lovers, this one’s for you!

With a slightly thicker consistency than regular milk, evaporated milk is made by heating cow milk until about three-fifth (60%) of its water content has evaporated. You can fill the void of the coconut flavor by adding a few drops of coconut essence.

Moreover, the creaminess and caramelized flavor of evaporated milk serve as a perfect base for several dishes. All you need to do is replace coconut milk with an equal quantity of evaporated milk.

Best for:

  • Coffee
  • Curries,
  • Smoothies,
  • Soups,
  • Creamy dishes,
  • Baking
  • Slow cooking.

Not Recommended for:

  • Dairy intolerant people.

Amazon Product Recommendations:

Highly concentrated and unsweetened OOOFlavors Evaporated Milk Flavored Liquid Concentrate can be used to flavor beverages, in baking, candy flavoring, and much more! A good evaporated coconut milk choice would be dairy-free, soy-free and vegan Nature’s Charm Evaporated Coconut Milk.

04. SILKEN TOFU

Silken tofu, made by pressing condensed soy milk, is our next best go-to! Its 100% vegan composition, protein content, low-fat and calorie proportion make silken tofu heavily popular among health geeks.

Due to its high water content, puréed silken tofu mixed with equal parts of soy milk concocts a smooth and creamy liquid that can replace coconut milk in similar quantities. As silken tofu has a very mild flavor, it can easily be substituted with strong-flavored dishes.

Best for:

  • Pies
  • Soups
  • Smoothies
  • Sauces
  • Fruit or chocolate-based desserts

Not Recommended for:

  • Dishes that require coconut flavor.

Amazon Product Recommendation:

USDA Organic Certified, Non-GMO Project Verified and Certified Gluten-Free is Mori-Nu Silken Organic Tofu.

05. ALMOND MILK

The availability, low-calorie content and nutty flavor offered by almond milk is the reason why it’s one of our top choices! Unsweetened, unflavored almond milk can easily replace coconut milk in equal quantities.

However, its low-fat content and thin consistency can’t provide the same creaminess as that of coconut milk. If the base of your curry is fairly thin, or if you’re looking for a substitute in your daily coffee then it won’t matter much.

But, if you need the substitute to thicken up your gravy, adding in some cornstarch or gelatin or lemon juice will do the trick! If you want to keep the coconut flavor intact, dribble in some coconut oil or use coconut flour (keep in mind that you won’t need to add other thickening agents if you opt for coconut flour).

You can also make your own almond milk. All you need to do is soak unsalted almonds overnight and blend them in warm water or milk. For thicker milk, use more almonds.

Best for:

  • Hot beverages (coffees, lattes, etc)
  • Curries
  • Smoothies
  • Cereals
  • Baking

Not Recommended for:

  • Creamy dishes due to its low-fat content

Amazon Product Recommendation:

Shelf Stable, Unsweetened, Unflavored, Organic, Silk Almond Milk is our go-to.

06. CASHEW MILK

Another potential replacement is multi-purpose cashew milk. Having a consistency similar to that of cow’s milk, cashew milk is a perfect non-dairy substitute.

Cashew milk has a smoother and creamier texture than other nut milk and has a slightly sweet taste with a neutral undertone. It is low in calories and protein but has more fat than other plant-based milk.

With a rich, creamy texture, high-fat content and a flavor that can fit in any sort of dish, cashew milk is perfect for making plant-based recipes, sauces, soups, and desserts have a velvety, creamy finish, much like coconut milk.

As another option, you can also opt for cashew cream which has an even higher fat content and is as creamy as coconut milk. Simply soak up some unsalted cashews (quantity depending on how thick you want your paste to be) with warm water overnight and blend them into a paste with some water or milk (of your choice).

Best for:

  • Beverage recipes (coffees, lattes, smoothies, etc )
  • Curries
  • Soups
  • Sauces
  • Desserts
  • Salad dressings.

Not Recommended for:

  • Thick curries.

However, to substitute it in thick curries, you can add thickening agents like cornstarch or gelatin to your milk and make the texture more concentrated,

Amazon Product Recommendation:

A dairy-free, non-GMO, vegan option is Elmhurst Cashew Milk. While one with no additives, preservatives or sweeteners is Plenish Organic 6% Cashew Milk.

07. OAT MILK

  1. OAT MILK

The next top replacement is the one rising in popularity. Oat milk is naturally sweet, higher in calories and carbs yet lower in fat content than coconut milk.

With its mild creamy flavor, it is a perfect substitute for coconut milk in coffee foam. Since oat milk doesn’t curdle, it can be used in recipes that require high heat.

Oat milk has a slightly runny consistency. Adding cornstarch to thicken the milk and coconut oil to enhance richness is recommended by us.

It can be swapped with coconut milk in similar quantities. However, be sure to pick unsweetened, unflavoured oat milk.

Best for:

  • Lattes
  • Coffees
  • Cereals
  • Baking
  • Stew or curry recipes that require high heat.

Not Recommended for:

Some commercial oat milk is high in sugar and might not be gluten-free. Check the label and choose accordingly. Below are some of our recommendations.

Amazon Product Recommendation:

A gluten-free, dairy-free, non-GMO and naturally sweet option is Happy Planet Oat Milk. A cheaper alternative would be Oatsome. If you’re looking for a milk substitute to just lighten up your coffee or use in baking then you can opt for Oatly Oat Milk Barista Edition.

08. HEAVY CREAM

Our next alternative is dairy-based heavy cream. Heavy cream has a thick, creamy texture, similar to coconut milk.

Yet, it is higher in fat and calories than coconut milk. The richness and thickness of heavy cream keeps the texture of coconut milk intact and can be substituted in a similar ratio to coconut milk. As heavy cream is relatively flavorless, you can add some coconut water to keep the flavor of coconuts.

Best for:

  • Creamy soups
  • Curries
  • Sauces
  • Ice creams
  • Smoothies
  • Sorbet
  • Baking.

Not Recommended for:

  • Heavy cream, as stated above, has a very high-fat content and is high in calories. So if you’re looking for a substitute to watch your weight, this might not be the one for you.

Amazon Product Recommendation:

With 50 calories per serving and 0% carbohydrate, we recommend using rich and creamy Land O’ Lakes’ Gourmet Heavy Whipping Cream. Vegan Whipped Cream Replacement, Dairy Free, Soy Free, Gluten Free, Coconut Free, and Shelf Stable Mix by Vivian’s Live Again is another recommended choice. Another dairy-free option is So Delicious Dairy Free Cocowhip Lite.

09. MILK

A fresh milk with high-fat content of any kind, dairy or non-dairy, will fill the void of coconut milk easily. We suggest using whole milk or 2% with some coconut oil for flavoring. Consistency of milk is rather runny so use it in less amount, mix it up with some nut milk or pastes for a heavier consistency.

Best for:

  • Baking
  • Curries

Not Recommended for:

  • With its runny texture, regular fresh milk is not suited for thick sauce based curries. However, you can add some cornflour to change the consistency.

10. SPICED MILK

The creamy consistency and distinct flavor of spiced milk makes it a very popular substitute. Spiced milk can easily be made at home by heating milk (of any kind) with spices such as chili powder, curry powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, saffron or others of choice. The milk needs to be heated until it thickens and needs to be stirred periodically to prevent it from burning.

Best for:

  • Soups
  • Curries
  • Other hot dishes.

Not Recommended for:

  • Coffees
  • Smoothies or other cold dishes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Below you’ll find answers to questions we get asked the most about coconut milk alternatives.

Can I Substitute Coconut Milk For Milk?

Coconut milk can be used in place of milk. However, you need to be aware that coconut milk tastes like coconut, which other kinds of milk don’t have. So, if you want a tasteless substitute, coconut milk is not recommended.

Can I Substitute Coconut Cream For Coconut Milk?

Coconut cream is essentially coconut milk, but with higher concentration. Coconut cream is thicker and has a richer flavor than coconut milk.

Subsequently, it is also high in fat and calories. So if you want a healthier substitute, this might not be an attractive option. Coconut cream also can’t bring out the flavors of spices.

Nevertheless, if you’re just looking for an instant alternative, coconut cream will deliver! Blend it with some water to dilute the cream and add it to your dish.

Our recommended products are-
1. Let’s Do Organic Creamed Coconut
2. Unsweetened Native Forest Organic Premium Coconut Cream
3. Thai Kitchen Coconut Cream

Can You Substitute Almond Milk For Coconut Milk?

Almond milk is non-dairy and widely available. It can be easily swapped with coconut milk in similar quantities. Just add in some thickening agents to reach the required consistency.

Can I Substitute Coconut Milk For Evaporated Milk?

Evaporated milk is basically regular milk heated until 60% of its water content evaporates off, which makes the milk creamy. While coconut milk will offer similar texture, it will also have the flavor of coconut, so substitute wisely.

Can I Substitute Coconut Milk For Yogurt?

Having similar consistency, coconut milk can easily be used in place of yogurt. Especially in recipes that call for a coconut-y flavor.

A good choice would be Gluten-Free, Non-GMO Certified So Delicious Dairy Free Coconut Milk Yogurt Alternative, Plain.

Can I Substitute Carton Coconut Milk For Canned?

Boxed coconut milk has more water content and less fat content than the canned versions. While some recipes call for high-fat content, others just need the milky flavor so you can easily opt for the carton milk.

Can I Substitute Coconut Milk For Regular Milk?

Regular milk like cows milk or nut milks can be replaced by coconut milk. However, keep in mind that coconut milk will have the flavor of coconuts that regular milk doesn’t have.

Can I Substitute Coconut Milk For Condensed Milk?

Condensed milk is very sweet and thick so substituting it with coconut milk will require you to adjust the amount of milk to reach the desired consistency.

What Is A Good Substitute For Coconut Milk In Curry?

Any sort of milk with coconut oil, heavy cream with coconut water or spiced milk can replace coconut milk in curries.

What Can I Substitute Coconut Milk Powder With?

Regular milk powder can substitute coconut milk powder without the coconut flavor. Or you can simply use coconut milk instead of the powder. Coconut extract can also be used to provide the flavor of coconuts.

Can I Substitute Coconut Milk For Heavy Cream?

While both heavy cream and coconut milk have a creamy texture, heavy cream doesn’t have the flavor of coconut. If you’re okay with the coconut flavor, go ahead and use it as a substitute.

What Is A Good Substitute For Full-Fat Coconut Milk?

If you’re looking for low-fat substitutes, our top choices are soy milk, oat milk, almond milk, cashew milk, and silken tofu. If the fat content doesn’t bother you, then you can try heavy cream, half and half, evaporated milk, whole milk or spiced milk.

What Is A Good Substitute For Coconut Milk In Baking?

Good baking substitutes are fresh milk, oat milk, almond milk, evaporated milk, or heavy cream.

Final Thoughts:

To sum it all up, if coconut milk isn’t your thing or if you’re allergic to it, you can choose from the several substitutes stated above. While some coconut milk substitutes have more health benefits and others have more fat content, all of them work as an amazing alternative for coconut milk, given a few tweaks.

Additionally, if you can tolerate the fragrance and flavor of coconuts, you can add coconut flakes, coconut flour, coconut water, coconut essence or coconut extract to the substitutes mentioned above. Just pour them at a similar ratio of coconut milk in recipes. So, choose the one at your disposal and cook away!

Leave a Comment