How to Use Leftover Coconut Milk: 9 Great Recipes!

Use Leftover Coconut Milk in Delicious Ways

So you've opened up a can of coconut milk, but only need a portion of it, and now it's just sitting in your refrigerator going bad.  Yes, I know the situation!  But this needn't be the case.  There are so many great ways of using up leftover coconut milk, and in this case, they're all delicious!  Coconut milk is the healthiest milk on the planet - better even than nut milks because there is no fungus to worry about. And coconut milk contains natural coconut oil which is superb...MORE for the whole body, including skin and hair.  The following recipes are all from Thai cuisine, and that means they're sure to please everyone at your dinner table.  ENJOY!   

  • 01 of 09
    Thai Tossed Green Salad (Easy!)
    Thai Tossed Green Salad (Easy!). D.Schmidt for About.com

    This easy salad dressing can be put together in a matter of minutes. It's delicious, fresh, and slightly creamy but also low in fat and calories. And it can be made as mild or as spicy as you like. Tip: double the salad dressing recipe and keep any extra in the refrigerator for a quick & scrumptious tossed salad anytime!

  • 02 of 09
    Thai Stir-Fried Vegetables
    Thai Stir-Fried Vegetables - dee-lish!. About.com

    Store-bought stir-fry sauces are nearly always disappointing, whereas this simple, do-it-yourself sauce is delicious and easy.  A great way to use up leftover coconut milk, and the recipe is flexible - make it extra spicy if you like by adding fresh-cut chilies or dried chili flakes.  Or if you're not ready to make a stir-fry, just make up a bottle of the sauce to have standing by for later in the week.

  • 03 of 09
    Thai Chicken Curry with Potatoes, World's Best!
    Thai Chicken Curry with Potatoes, World's Best!. Taken by D.Schmidt for About.com (Copyright)

    A golden-hued Thai chicken curry simmered with individual spices, fresh herbs, and a hint of cinnamon. A swirl of coconut milk is added at the end which adds a rich, creamy texture for the ultimate Thai taste.  Whole chicken pieces, such as drumsticks, lend very tender results, and chunky wedges of potato round out the dish. 

  • 04 of 09
    Thai Crab Salad
    Thai Crab Salad - Indulge Your Senses!. D.Schmidt for About.com

    Indulge your senses with this delicious Thai crab salad made with the exotic and creamy taste of coconut milk.  Featuring a full-spectrum of flavors and textures, this salad is fresh and thrilling for the palate.  A simple coconut milk dressing is tossed up with crab meat and a selection of vegetables plus fresh coriander and chopped peanuts or cashews. Mmmm.... scrumptious!

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09
    Luscious Thai Lemon-Coconut Shrimp!
    D.Schmidt for About.com

    Use up your leftover coconut milk to make this luscious shrimp dish for a taste experience you won't soon forget. Thai food is known for its exotic and oftentimes heady combinations, and this is a prime example of this description. Who could imagine this dish is also a cinch to make? Coconut milk is key, along with some fresh lemons, garlic, chili, and fresh coriander. I like to make this dish for guests because it never fails to impress and yet it's easy to whip up.

  • 06 of 09
    Thai Banana-Lychee Dessert
    Thai Banana-Lychee Dessert - Easiest dessert in the world (and one of the yummiest!). Taken by D.Schmidt for About.com

    This easy dessert only takes 5 minutes to make! But don't be deceived by its simplicity - the taste is so wonderfully sweet and exotic that most people find it a little addictive.   It's a great way use up leftover coconut milk AND bananas, another food item that tends to get tossed. This simple dessert recipe can be served warm or cold, depending on the weather and your mood.  I like it warmed up for a comfort food treat.

  • 07 of 09
    Thai-style Creme Caramel
    Thai-style Creme Caramel. D.Schmidt for About.com

    A Thai version of the classic creme caramel dessert that is super-easy to make, melt-in-your mouth delicious, and healthier than traditional creme caramel! This recipe calls for coconut milk instead of cream (coconut milk contains good fats that actually lower your cholesterol).  If you're lactose-intolerant or avoiding dairy, this is a good dessert choice for you. It also makes an elegant dessert to serve guests or take to a party. Best of all, this recipe can be whipped up and in the oven...MORE in less than 10 minutes!

  • 08 of 09
    Exotic Dragonfruit Martini - a great conversation starter!
    Exotic Dragonfruit Martini - a great conversation starter!. D.Schmidt for About.com

    This Dragon Fruit Martini is easy to make and beautiful to serve!  Make it for guests or just for yourself.  Dragon fruit is native to Thailand, but is now readily available throughout North America - look for it in your local supermarket. A great way to use-up leftover coconut milk.

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09
    Coconut Rice
    Copyright Darlene A. Schmidt, 10/22/10, About.com Corp.

    Follow this super-easy recipe for a scrumptious side dish that can be served with anything else you're cooking.  I also like eating it on its own for lunch, it's that good!  This version is my favorite because it's so easy - made in a rice cooker.  All you need is rice, coconut milk, salt and water, and you'll be enjoying delicious coconut rice in just 20 minutes!