This coconut pineapple rice is easy to make and SO deliciously creamy and rich. The coconut milk and pineapple chunks add a delicious tropical taste and using brown rice makes it a healthier option. It makes for a sticky rice that's filled with flavors. Vegan and gluten free.
When I first moved to United States from Quebec (Canada), I joined my husband all the way to Seattle. While living there, we did what most people around us did: we travelled to Hawaii almost every winter.
I feel like when talking about Hawaii, most people describe the water falls or the dreamy beaches. But to me, drinking coconut water straight from a fresh nut or seeing all the mini pineapple bushes everywhere is what really stuck in my mind.
And the combination of coconut milk and juicy fresh pineapple in this recipe really brings all these Hawaiian memories back. Just like with this coconut pineapple chia parfait, I can't help myself but think about traveling to the sun when eating this tropical rice.
And I'm hoping it can also make you travel somewhere warm and sunny right from your first bite! I mean, this tropical creamy and very coconut-y rice calls for some sun. The combo of pineapple + coconut + lime flavors is so darn delicious and helps the chewy brown rice really shine.
Creamy tropical brown rice
This recipe will give a rich and creamy rice. The fat from the coconut milk creates a rice that's a little heavier and filling than lots of rice recipes. And using brown rice makes it even more satisfying. This makes for a rice that's actually great as the center of a meal with a side or topping that's a little lighter.
Also, the flavors are slightly sweet without being too overpowering. The tangy pineapple and zesty lime balances the sweeteness from the fruit and coconut so perfectly.
Ingredients to make a coconut pineapple rice
- Brown rice
- Canned coconut milk (+ water)
- Fresh lime
- Shredded coconut
How to make it
Although cooking with brown rice takes more time, this recipe is very simple. Everything goes in the same pot and the rice will be ready within 50 minutes.
To a pot, add the brown rice, coconut milk and water. Cover and bring to a boil. When boiling, turn down the heat to low and keep on a low simmer while keeping the cover on for about 40 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed all the liquid. When done, keep the cover on and remove from the heat. Let the rice sit for another 5-10 minutes.
While the rice is cooking, simply toast shredded coconut until browned in a non-stick pan.
Then, add the salt, lime juice, pineapple, fresh cilantro and toasted coconut. Stir to combine and taste to adjust the flavors.
Watch how to make it
What type of coconut milk to use
There are many different kinds of coconut milk on the market and different ones can give you slightly different results, all of which will still be delicious. I tested this recipe with a can of light coconut milk. You can use full fat coconut milk as well, but this will give you a creamier and heavier type of rice (closer to what risotto looks like).
I also recommend you to choose a coconut milk that's in a can (as opposed to the one in the carton) for best result.
What type of rice to use
This recipe was made using brown rice instead of white rice. I find long grain brown rice works better for this type of rice, so try choosing either basmati or jasmine brown rice. If you want to use a different type of rice, then you might need to adjust the ratio rice/liquid and cooking time a bit.
Can I use canned or frozen pineapple instead of fresh?
Yes! Use fresh pineapple when in season to have a super sweet and juicy fruit. Otherwise, you can use canned or frozen pineapple (simply thaw and/or drain the pineapple before adding to the rice). Psst, use your extra frozen pineapple to make a pineapple slush!
Also, although I have not tried it, you could swap a portion of the liquid for some of the pineapple juice from a can when cooking the rice. This would give it even more exotic flavors.
How to eat this coconut pineapple rice
The slightly sweet flavor of this rice pairs very well with many different cultural dishes. Savory Asian, warming Indian or even spicy Mexican food would work well combined to this dish.
If keeping the rice as the center of your plate, then don't hesitate to add something crunchy and fresh.
- Roasted cashews, peanuts, almonds or more toasted shredded coconut
- Green onion
- Lime wedges for a good squeeze before eating
- Fresh cilantro
- Diced red pepper
Like any other rice recipes, storing rice leftovers in the fridge will modify the texture of the rice. For this reason, I find this recipe is best when just prepared.
Keep the leftovers in the fridge in a air-tight container for up to 3 days. When reheating, if the rice has dried out too much, then add a splash of water before warming up.
Great pairings to go with this rice recipe
- Vegan tikka masala
- Vegetable stir-fry
- Crispy coconut tofu
- Sweet and spicy orange sauce
- Saucy ginger tofu
- Teriyaki cauliflower
- Sweet and sour tofu
I hope you will love this coconut rice as much we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was. Your feedback is so helpful!
Coconut pineapple rice
- 2 cups long grain brown rice (basmati or jasmine)
- 1 cup canned light coconut milk
- 3 cups water
- 1 ½ cups fresh pineapple - diced (can also use canned or frozen, see notes)
- 1 lime - juiced, plus more lime wedges for serving
- ½ tsp salt - or to taste
- ¼-1/2 cup fresh cilantro - roughly chopped
- ⅓ cup shredded coconut - unsweetened
- In a medium pot, combine the rice, coconut milk and water. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low right away. Keep on a low simmer for about 40 minutes or until the rice absorbed all the liquid. Then, keep covered and remove from the heat to let the rice sit for 10 more minutes.
- While the rice is cooking, toast the shredded coconut in a non-stick pan on medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes or until lightly browned (watch carefully so it does not burn).
- When the rice is done, then add the pineapple chunks, salt, cilantro, toasted coconut and lime juice. Stir to combined.
- Serve warmed topped with more fresh cilantro and a side of lime wedge. This rice is amazing with this crispy coconut tofu.
- If too much water evaporates while cooking, then add a little more, bring back to a simmer while covering and cook until the rice is done.
- This recipe works well with a long grain brown rice. If using a different rice, then you might need to adjust the amount of liquid to cook the rice to your taste.
- If using canned or frozen pineapple, then simply thaw and/or drain before adding to the rice.