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, a pinch of salt, and a little bit of water which 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

Brazilian Coconut Rice

4.11 from 29 votes
Servings: 4
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes


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!


  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • 1 1/2 Cups Rice, short grain, or we used long this last time
  • 2 Cups Coconut Milk, canned
  • 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.
    1 Tablespoon Butter, 1 1/2 Cups Rice
  • 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.
    2 Cups Coconut Milk, 1 Cup Water, 1/2 teaspoon Salt, 3 Tablespoons Sugar


May be stored in the refrigerator for 4-7 days.


Serving: 1gCalories: 536kcalCarbohydrates: 68gProtein: 7gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 337mgPotassium: 328mgFiber: 1gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 87IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 40mgIron: 4mg
Author: Sweet Basil
Course: All Your Favorite Fall Recipes to Warm up to

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


When you try a recipe, please use the hashtag #ohsweetbasil on INSTAGRAM for a chance to be featured in our stories!  FOLLOW OH, SWEET BASIL ON FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | TWITTER FOR ALL OF OUR LATEST CONTENT, RECIPES AND STORIES.