Brazilian Coconut Rice [+ Video]

Coconut rice Brazilian style! We have the secret for making the perfect rice, and it all starts out in the saute pan. This Brazilian Coconut Rice is the most amazing side dish! Serve it up with our huli huli chicken or sweet and sour meatballs!

There are a lot of coconut rice recipes out there, and I believe that each are delicious for different reasons, but when you’re eating the best Hawaiian Pulled Pork ever you kinda need the bestest Brazilian coconut rice ever too.

And this recipe, well it’s the best if I do say so myself. And I’ll tell you a secret, it’s all about the method. My husband lived in Brazil serving a mission for 2 years, and their method of toasting the rice first is something that he immediately took to and now it’s how we cook our rice too. Plus, there’s brown sugar in there. Good golly, I love that stuff!


A photo of Brazilian coconut rice in a large wooden bowl and garnished with chopped fresh basil.

Oh gosh, I loved brown sugar as a kid. It’s a little embarrassing to admit, but I’d totally snitch little pinches of the stuff while my mom was cooking or baking. She would always tell me to “get out of the brown sugar!” And now I’m an adult and she can’t tell me that. Haha, but seriously I do still take a little pinch whenever I’m using it. I can’t help it!! It’s just so darned delicious. But now I’m on a tangent…back to this rice!

How to Make Brazilian Coconut Rice?

This recipe is super easy so I won’t bore you with a ton of talk, but basically you use the canned coconut milk, brown sugar and a pinch of salt. No water at all, but I promise it just makes for a creamy, sticky, flavorful rice. And if you want to get all cute you can toast a little coconut and sprinkle it on top or some chopped fresh parsley or cilantro is delicious too.

And if you’re worried about your rice turning out, just click play to watch the whole thing happen.


Why Do You Toast Rice Before Cooking It?

Flavor, flavor, flavor!  Toasting grains before cooking enhances the nutty depth of flavor. It adds an extra layer of flavor to a dish that we have fallen in love it!

What to Eat with Brazilian Coconut Rice?

I already mentioned our Huli Huli Chicken, Sweet and Sour Meatballs and Hawaiian Pork, but if you still want more ideas, try our Waikiki Meatballs, Pineapple Habanero Pork or Hawaiian Chicken

Is Rice Gluten Free?

All varieties of rice are gluten free.


A photo of Brazilian coconut rice in a large wooden bowl and garnished with chopped fresh cilantro.


Can You Make Coconut Rice With Brown Rice?

Yes, and it is quite delicious with that additional nutty flavor! You will just need to increase the simmer time for quite a bit longer. Instead of 20-30 minutes, you’ll want to let it cook for about an hour.

Is Coconut Rice Vegan?

This particular recipe is not vegan because it uses butter, but if you replace the butter with coconut oil, then it would be vegan.

Is Coconut Milk Good For You?

Coconut milk is high in saturated fat, but it is also high in potassium which may lower blood pressure.

Coconut milk is packed with vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5, and B6 as well as iron, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.

What Can You Substitute For Brown Sugar?

White sugar in an equal amount will work fine. Or, add 2 tablespoons molasses to every cup of substituted white sugar and you will not be able to tell the difference.


A photo of Brazilian coconut rice in a large wooden bowl and garnished with chopped fresh cilantro.


Is Coconut Rice Sweet?

Yup, in all the right ways! With the coconut milk and brown sugar, there is a definitely sweetness to it, but the salt give it just the right balance you need. It also has a mild coconut flavor.

Can You Make Coconut Rice in an Instant Pot?

Yes, we love it in the Instant Pot. We toast the rice on saute mode for a few minutes and then add the rest of the ingredients and stir it all together. Cook on high pressure for 3 minutes, then turn pressure cooker off and allow a natural for 7 minutes. After 7 minutes, flip the valve to do a quick pressure release.

Can You Cook Rice In a Microwave?

Yes, you can cook rice in a microwave. For this recipe, I would still toast the rice first, and then place all the ingredients in a microwave safe bowl with room for the rice to expand. Cook on high for 10 minutes and then cook on medium/low for about 15 minutes. Don’t stir at anytime during the cooking process! When it is done, fluff with a fork and serve.


Our cookbook has this Brazilian Coconut Rice recipe in it and I have to say, if you haven’t bought Our Sweet Basil Kitchen Cookbook yet, now is TOTALLY the time!!


More delicious SIDE DISHES you’re sure to love:



Brazilian Coconut Rice

Sweet and sticky coconut rice that's perfect with any meal ohsweetbasil.com_-3
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4.41 from 10 votes

Brazilian Coconut Rice

Want to know the secret to making perfect rice? It all starts out in the saute pan and this Brazilian Coconut Rice is the most amazing side dish recipe to teach you!
Prep Time2 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time32 mins
Course: All Your Favorite Fall Recipes to Warm up to
Keyword: brazilian, brown sugar, coconut, coconut milk, recipe, rice, side
Servings: 2 cups of rice
Calories: 864kcal
Author: Sweet Basil


  • 1 1/2 Cups Short or we used long this last time Grain Rice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 Cups Canned Coconut Milk
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 3 Tablespoons Sugar or brown sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt


  • In a large skillet add the butter and turn the heat to medium, add the rice and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Place everything in a rice cooker and cook according to rice cooker instructions, or continue to cook in the pan on the stove, bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and place the lid on for 20-30 minutes.



Serving: 1g | Calories: 864kcal | Carbohydrates: 88.2g | Protein: 11.1g | Cholesterol: 15.3mg | Sugar: 4.5g
Tried this recipe?Mention @OhSweetBasil or tag #OhSweetBasil!

A photo of Brazilian coconut rice in a large wooden bowl and garnished with chopped fresh basil.


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Carrian Cheney

Lover of all things beautiful, good and delicious. Wife, mother, friend, foodie.

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63 comments on “Brazilian Coconut Rice [+ Video]”

  1. 5 stars
    What an interesting idea that I haven’t seen before!

  2. Great recipe! Looking forward to trying it soon. Keep up the good work!

  3. I almost never write comments but this recipe is sooooo good! My hawaiian chicken wasn’t done yet and I just couldn’t stop picking at it. Even better with chicken. Thank you so much for sharing!!

  4. Is this unsweetened or sweetened coconut milk?

  5. 4 stars
    This was tasty. If you’d like it sweeter, you can add chopped dates when you add the rice instead of adding more sugar. I served it with teriyaki chicken and stir fried veggies.

  6. 5 stars
    Wow this recipe is a keeper! Served it with Hawaiian Chicken and everyone loved it!
    Truly a chef inspired recipe, better, so much better than takeout!!

  7. My experience from growing up with a Japanese family is that short grain rice is an equal parts cooking proposition, as in 2 cups rice to 2-1/2 cups water.

    I think 1 cup rice to 2 cups coconut milk would make it soupy like risotto. I want my rice to eat with a folk or chopsticks rather than a spoon.

    I’ll try it your way and let you know

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  12. Thank you for sharing this recipe!! The only thing I did differently was I used Minute Rice!! I followed your directions & it was AMAZING!! 🙂

  13. Thank you for sharing this recipe!! The only thing I did differently was I used Minute Rice!! I followed your directions & it turned out

  14. Hi, i love this recipe! I was just wondering, is it possible to use coconut oil to get the flavor instead of coconut milk?

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  16. hi, I was wondering about which rice. I have minute rice at home, is that what you use? or regular rice?

  17. Hello,
    I am learning to be a better cook. I found your blog and we love trying your recipes, so thank you for sharing. We love the Hawaiian pulled pork recipe and for some reason our store didn’t carry pink salt but Red Hawaiian Sea Salt. I wonder if color makes a difference? Tonight, I finally made the pork along with this rice dish. After reading the comments, I cooked the rice with butter in skillet for about 5 minutes, then added everything into my rice cooker. Half way through I mixed it up too so nothing would burn or have a film. Once cooked it was a bit oily, I did buy a cheap can of coconut milk so maybe that is the cause. Oh and I did long grain rice…just wondering if cooking longer or not in a rice cooker would be best…?

    • The red salt should be great. I’ve used it too. The rice will have a little sheen as the fat content for coconut milk is definitely different, but cooking it in the pan for long enough then just leave it alone so as much as the milk can cook into the rice as possible. I do agree, the cheaper the coconut milk the worse it seems to be. It takes a while to find good brands by you but Asian markets are my best bet for a good one.

  18. I have been playing around with different receipts online and this is the first one I found not using water along side the cocoanut milk. I tried it tonight and mine turned out very oily. The flavor was the and good I might add but where did I go wrong as far as the oiliness or is that just how it’s meant to be .

    • Hmmm, ours has never turned out oily, but there are so many varieties of coconut milk and they are all so different it may have been that. Or it could be that the rice wasn’t cooked enough in the first stage so too much oil was left in the pan. Sorry, wish I was there to watch and help.

  19. Would love to try this with fruit. Could I add half coconut and half sweetened condensed milk to push it to the sweet side? Your thought greatly appreciated!

  20. Thank you so much for this recipe! It is refreshingly different, with the roasting technique and the brown sugar. Loved it!

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  22. Just tried it! It was really good. Not sweet enough to suit my family, but I thought it was perfect.
    Only problem I ran into was that I had a layer or film of coconut milk that settled on top, so it looked like it had more simmering to do than it actually did. I lost a decent bit of it to burning, but now I know what to watch out for next time.
    I’ll definitely be making it again. Thank you for the recipe! I think I have a new favorite snack. 🙂

  23. Ooh! I’ve had Thai coconut sticky rice but never Brazilian, to the best of my knowledge. This sounds (and looks) wonderful!

  24. I have been searching for a good coconut rice recipe! This looks and sounds wonderful. I have a rice cooker, but not recipe book…. Can’t wait to try!

    Where did your husband serve his mission? My son-in-law served in Sao Paulo South!

  25. Oh my! Coconut rice 🙂 this is fantastic, I love it!

  26. This looks so delicious! Love the different technique!

  27. COCONUT! Yes!!! This sounds so good!

  28. I am totally making this. Soon.

  29. I’m going to have to try a little brown sugar next time. It sounds great.

  30. This looks so easy and perfect! Funny story about brown sugar. Back when Kellan was 7 or 8 months, I was watching a friends daughter and her and Kellan were playing in the kitchen while I was folding laundry just a couple feet away. I’d look in every minute or so. It suddenly got quiet. Never a good thing with toddlers. I look in the kitchen and my friend’s daughter was dumping the brown sugar on the ground and Kellan was sitting there eating it by the handful. Sounds like you two would get along great! 😉

  31. Oh how I want a bowl of this goodness tonight!!! Awesome

  32. I pretty much just want this for dinner.

  33. Yum! I actually made some pulled pork last night, thanks to your inspiration. May have to serve the leftovers tonight with this recipe!

  34. Such a yummy rice for the side of grilled meats, Carrian! This looks perfect for summer meals!

  35. I absolutely cannot wait to try this rice!

  36. Yes, please! I need to cook more rice in our household and this is just the recipe to get me going!

  37. I love coconut rice! It’s my dinner party rice for sure. If I’m doing a lot of really savory or spicy dishes in the meal I’ll throw in some golden raisins…yummy.

  38. This rice sounds delicious! I love toasting rice before adding the liquid. It takes on a nutty flavor. Yum!

  39. Oh heeeeeeeeeey brazilian coconut rice… you look GOOD!

  40. We eat tons of rice in our house and this is going into rotation ehem the rice cooker stat!

  41. That looks super easy, and really good. I think coconut rice is a good alternative for just everyday rice.

  42. Drooling over this – sounds so good!!

  43. Again, you and I are on the same page! I did coconut rice last night and posted Hawaiian and pineapple today. Sounds like we would both like to venture to Hawaii for a little bit! Okay, at least I would!

    I love your rice and that there is a little brown sugar in there. That sounds perfect!