Coconut milk is a staple ingredient in most Asian kitchens, particularly in Thai cuisine. This creamy, white milk is extracted from the flesh of the ripe coconut. 

Coconut milk is mostly used as a base for some recipes, especially curries. It can transform any ordinary dish into a flavorful, creamy delight.

However, if you fell short of this ingredient, there are some substitutes for coconut milk available in your pantry you can use.

Besides, some people are allergic to coconut. Using any substitute can help them enjoy the dish that calls for this ingredient.

This article looks into some viable coconut milk substitutes that can help bring flavor to your dishes.

Substitutes for Coconut Milk

1. Spiced MilkSpiced Milk

Spiced milk is a popular alternative to the coconut milk that can bring similar thickness and sweetness to your recipe.

This particular type of milk is quite easy to make — just heat your regular milk and add spices like nutmeg, cloves, or cinnamon. [1]

If you are allergic to coconut, using spiced milk can be a good option for you. Due to the natural sweetness of those spices, you don’t need to add extra sugar which will make your dishes a bit healthier.

2. Soy MilkSoy Milk

Another nutrient-dense substitute that can be found in both milk and powder form. However, you’re suggested to use the powder form of soy milk so that you can increase the thickness to your desired consistency.

Compared to coconut milk, soy milk has fewer calories and fat which makes it a healthier option. [2]

Soy milk is perfect for those who are lactose intolerant. However, if you have any hormonal problems, this alternative to coconut milk might not be the best fit for you.

3. Heavy CreamHeavy Cream

Heavy cream is one of the best coconut milk substitutes as it brings the same consistency, along with a wonderful flavor.

This popular ingredient is quite close to coconut milk when it comes to calories and fat. [3]

Apart from the thickness, heavy cream can add a pleasant taste to many dishes. If you want to use it in your recipe, replace one cup of coconut milk with one cup of heavy cream.

4. Almond MilkAlmond-Milk

If you want natural sweetness in your dishes, almond milk can be your best bet. It can give your food its desired taste with a bit of nutty flavor. 

If you like its nut-like taste, then you can easily substitute almond milk for coconut milk. Besides, it contains the goodness of nuts such as healthy fats, sugars, as well as omega-3 fatty acids. [4]

Although it has a thin consistency, almond milk can easily replace coconut milk in most recipes.

5. Silken TofuSilken Tofu

If you love coconut milk but can’t use it due to being overweight, there is a healthier choice for you. Silken tofu, the unpressed and undrained version of tofu can be used as an alternative to coconut milk when blended into a puree.

Silken tofu is quite low in calories, meaning that you can use it in any recipe without worrying about your weight. [5]

You can easily disguise silken tofu in other strongly flavored dishes as this option is relatively flavorless.

6. Yogurtyogurt

Yogurt is an excellent choice to use in any recipe for health-conscious people. It has a thick consistency that you can adjust by adding some water. 

Yogurt is rich in nutrients and probiotic content. It brings a similar sweetness to coconut milk without adding extra calories and fat to it. [6]

You can try different plain flavors of yogurt and see which one works best for you. You can also go for Greek yogurt if you want a thicker consistency.

7. Evaporated MilkEvaporated Milk

Evaporated milk is an easy-to-make substitute for coconut milk. You can just make it by heating the regular milk to remove more than half the water content from it.

It will give your recipe a caramelized flavor with the thickness you want. When using in cooking, you may have to add some coconut essence for flavor. 

However, this option won’t be suitable for you if you have lactose intolerance.


The versatility of coconut milk has made it a popular choice in most cooking. It brings a unique flavor and taste to every dish is made.

However, if coconut is not your thing, there are plenty of viable options you can try. Most of these substitutes are available in your pantry and do not cost much fortune.

Based on your preferences, try any of these options and give your curry the best flavor it deserves.