Turmeric Coconut Rice

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Enjoy this delicious and healthy Turmeric Coconut Rice for your next meal. Brown rice simmered in seasoned coconut milk with onion, garlic, and thyme.
This is so easy to prepare and in no time, you will have this fancy Turmeric Coconut Rice that is so flavorful, adding an extra special touch to your meal. It is similar to Indian coconut rice with a Caribbean flair. It can be served for lunch or dinner.

Turmeric Coconut Rice

This Turmeric Coconut Rice is by far the most popular rice recipe on my website, I decided to do some new photos. Published on: Jan 11, 2017 

The flavor blends are just right, the combination of turmeric, coconut milk, and Jamaican seasonings thyme, green onions, garlic, onion are amazing! The best comfort side dish ever.

Overlay of yellow turmeric coconut rice garnished with cilantro on a white plate

Brown rice vs White Rice:

  1. Eating brown rice is healthier for you than white rice, it contains more minerals, vitamins, and fiber.
  2. Brown rice is a gluten-free whole grain, it has all the grain- the bran, the germ, and the endosperm.
  3. On the other hand, white rice has the germ and bran removed which are the most nutritious parts of the rice.
  4. White rice has very little nutrients and is believed to be an ’empty calorie food’.

Overlay ingredients for turmeric coconut rice on a white background

How To Make Turmeric Coconut Rice?

For this coconut rice recipe, onion and garlic are sauteed in coconut oil until fragrant, turmeric, thyme, spring onion and carrots added.

Brown rice is stirred in to soak up the flavors and color of the pretty yellow turmeric. My favorite rice to use is basmati or jasmine rice.

Rice is then slow-cooked in coconut milk and vegetable broth for a rich and tasty flavor. Or you can 1 vegetable bouillon with 2 cups water.

Close up of turmeric coconut rice on a white plate, golden spoon garnished with cilantro

Turmeric Coconut Rice dish will certainly become a favorite, it is so tasty that you really could just eat it on its own or add some beans or oven-baked tofu cubes at the end of cooking for a delicious one-pot meal!

What To Serve With My Turmeric Coconut Rice?

I enjoyed serving it with my Vegan Southern Black-Eyed Peas, Thai Coconut Curry Tofu,  Potatoes, and Peas Samosa Muffins, and a large salad.

Preparing brown rice this way is one of the best ways to introduce it to someone who has never tried it or one who would love to transition to eating brown rice but is not sure of how to prepare it to be tasty.

finished turmeric coconut rice on a white plate topped with vegan southern black-eyed peas on a white table

Other Delicious Rice Recipes To Try:

This recipe is different from the others you will find out there because it is cooked with a Caribbean flavor.

Note, I recently found out from a reader that they make a similar dish called Nasi Kuning in Indonesia that has pandan leaves, galangal, lemongrass added to it. I would love to try it someday.

Overlay of yellow turmeric coconut rice garnished with cilantro on a white plateOverlay of yellow turmeric coconut rice garnished with cilantro on a white plate

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Categories: ,
Cuisines: ,


224 kcal / 936 kJ
3 g
5 g
45 g
Per portion

Cooking Time

15 min
50 min
Ready in:
1 h 5 min
8 servings



  1. Heat oil in a large pot on medium high, cook onion and garlic until soft about 3 minutes.
  2. Stir in turmeric, green onions, thyme, carrots and cook for a minute stirring constantly.
  3. Add rice and stir until rice is fully coated yellow. Add coconut milk, vegetable broth, cayenne pepper, and salt. (Make sure you add enough salt until it is flavorful).
  4. Bring to boil, cover and reduce to simmer on low for 50 minutes or until rice is tender. Remove from heat and keep covered for about 10 minutes.
  5. Fluff with a fork, stir in cilantro leaves and a squeeze of lime juice.


  1. I prefer to use Basmati, Jasmine, or any long-grain brown rice for flakier rice. Short grain rice will most likely be too sticky.
  2. I usually cover the pot with a sheet of parchment paper underneath the pot cover to seal the pot and allow the rice to cook faster and flakier instead of being soggy.

Michelle Blackwood, RN

Hi, I’m Michelle, I’m the voice, content creator and photographer behind Healthier Steps. I share vegan and gluten-free recipes because of past health issues. My goal is to help you make healthier choices and show you how healthy eating is easy and delicious.

Please Leave a Comment and a Rating

Rate this recipe

  1. Victoria
    June 26, 2020

    Thank you so much for popping up in my email today with this recipe! Just made it and it is delish! Definitely going in the rotation!!!

  2. Karen Page
    June 24, 2020

    With regards to the coconut turmeric rice
    Could I use red rice??
    It’s a big favourite… very nutty tasting!
    Thank you

  3. Elie
    June 20, 2020

    So easy to make. Making it on the stove, not in the rice cooker. I used coconut milk from the can, and only 1/4 of a carrot diced, did not peel. My thyme was dried. Approx 1 tsp. I am now in the 50 min (what I call) fluff up time. Can’t wait to eat it.

  4. Cathie
    June 17, 2020

    Really yummy! I’ve made this numerous times.

  5. Beth
    June 16, 2020

    Really enjoyed making this and I added shrimp for meat to make it more savory

  6. Yolanda
    June 16, 2020

    Hi Michelle,
    Looking forward to making this tonight! When you say coconut milk, did you use the coconut milk in the carton or canned coconut milk? Also did you peel the carrots? Thanks,

    • Michelle Blackwood, RN
      June 16, 2020

      Yolanda, I hope you enjoy it! I use coconut from the can, I peeled mine but it is more done from habit. It is not necessary if you are using organic carrots, you just need to wash them well.

  7. Bridgette
    June 15, 2020

    This looks great! Up

  8. Deb
    June 6, 2020

    What spice could I use besides thyme? Not my fav :/

  9. Lea
    June 6, 2020

    Loved this! Heated up leftovers in cast iron with coconut oil, and got it so crispy and delicious.

  10. Marissa
    June 1, 2020

    I love brown rice, and I love the way this turned out, except for the darn brown rice not being soft enough. I cooked it with the parchment paper for about 40mins, took it off and finished cooking it. I even cooked it for about 5 extra minutes, some of the rice on the bottom got brown. But I still have hard pieces in the brown rice! Should I add a little extra broth next time?

    • Michelle Blackwood, RN
      June 2, 2020

      Marissa, next time. Add a little extra water. using a fork, stir the bottom to the top after the first 40 minutes, and cook for extra 15 minutes on the lowest heat. The steam will cook the rice.

  11. Jess
    May 19, 2020

    This was an absolute hit among my non vegan friends and family. They all loved this flavorful rice that was also easy to make!

  12. Kelly
    May 18, 2020

    Can this be cooked in an instant pot?

  13. Brenda R
    May 17, 2020

    I’ve made several times I love this recipe👍👍👍👍👍

  14. Carolyn
    May 15, 2020

    Would this be good served cold? Need a cold dish to pass and wondered your thoughts. Thanks.

  15. Stacie
    May 14, 2020

    Not sure where I went wrong, but the rice took almost an hour and a half in my rice cooker. It also didn’t come out fluffy…more like creamy risotto, even though I did use regular, long grain brown rice. Although it took longer than expected, this is one of the BEST rice side dishes I’ve ever made (and my husband agreed)! I served it along with fish tacos. Tonight I’ll make quesadillas with the leftovers! Thanks for sharing this fabulous recipe.

    • Michelle Blackwood, RN
      May 14, 2020

      Stacie. I’m so sorry it took so long in your rice cooker. I don’t have a rice cooker or else I could try and figure the exact timing and amount of liquid needed. My suggestion would be to use less liquid next time for a fluffy result. Thank you for sharing your feedback, I really appreciate it.

      • Alexia
        July 2, 2020

        Would this work in Instantpot duo plus?

  16. Emily Smith
    May 8, 2020

    I make this weekly!

  17. shireen
    May 6, 2020

    Oh my goodness, just made this now and both hubby and I enjoyed it so much, am definitely making this again

  18. Nino
    May 6, 2020

    Thanks Ms Blackwood, that was absolutely delicious – and so easy. I used coconut cream instead of milk as I didn’t have any. I also included grated ginger alongside with garlic and used grated parmesan for the topping. My word.

    • Michelle Blackwood, RN
      May 6, 2020

      Nino, I’m so happy you enjoyed it and adjusted it with the ingredients you had on hand, thank you for leaving your feedback.

  19. Tij
    April 21, 2020

    Can I sub the Rice with Quinoa ?

    • Michelle Blackwood, RN
      April 21, 2020

      Yes you can but make sure the liquid is only 1 inch above the quinoa and it will cook in about 15-20 minutes, that is why you will need less liquid.

      • azra
        May 13, 2020

        Any thoughts on doing this in a rice cooker?

        • Michelle Blackwood, RN
          May 13, 2020

          Azra I’m sure it can be done, I no longer have a rice cooker to give you the correct advice. Hopefully one of our readers will respond.

  20. Kate
    April 18, 2020

    This recipe is a new house FAVORITE! SO.DANG.YUMMY.

    • Patricia B
      May 30, 2020

      I have all the ingredients except thyme sprigs. Maybe about half teaspoon of thyme leaves would work?

  21. Lisa
    April 12, 2020

    Wonderfully aromatic and flavourful! My family loved it -will have to double the recipe next time as it was quickly gobbled up. Thank you!!

  22. DivineUmami
    April 7, 2020

    Made this recipe and it was awesome. Although I used vegan chicken bouillon because I don’t care for the taste of vegetable stock, broth or bouillon. I think next time I might add a few chopped jalapeños to give it a little extra bite.

  23. Nancy
    February 18, 2020

    Does anyone know if I can do this in my ninja foodie/pressure cooker?

  24. Bryonie Baxter
    February 2, 2020

    Doubled carrots, added a tin of chickpeas, frozen peas and some mini corn cobs from a tin. Made a full meal rather than a side. Yummy.

  25. Haily
    January 7, 2020

    I’m planing on making this but for the coconut milk I only have a can of full fat coconut milk.. would that work?

  26. Carrie R
    December 26, 2019

    I live in a very small Texas town , no brown basmati or jasmine rice available . Can I use regular jasmine rice and just not cook as long , maybe 20 mins ?

    • Michelle Blackwood, RN
      December 26, 2019

      Carrie yes you can, make sure to use about 1 1/2 cups of liquid per 1 cup of uncooked rice and brown rice is sold online as well.

  27. Dorinda
    December 19, 2019

    This is my new go to recipe when I needed to bring a dish somewhere. Easy to cook and flavorful! Thank you!

  28. Jamie Angulo
    December 16, 2019

    Hi Michelle!

    I love this recipe and have made it multiple times but I found out I have a food sensitivity to coconut (very disappointing). Would you replace a with a different milk or add extra stock?

    • Michelle Blackwood, RN
      December 16, 2019

      Jamie I’m so sorry to hear, yes just replace the coconut milk with extra stock. Thank you for reaching out.