What to Serve With Coconut Rice? 22 Best Side Dishes

Coconut rice, with its creamy and tropical taste, is a favorite on many dinner tables. It's not just delicious but pairs well with many dishes, making it perfect for different meals.

If you're wondering what to serve with coconut rice, I've got you covered! Here you can find 22 delicious side dishes that will turn your coconut rice into something extra special 🙂

Looking for a quick answer?

The best side dishes to serve with coconut rice are glazed salmon, Hawaiian chicken, or grilled Mahi Mahi with mango salsa if you are looking for something that goes with the natural sweetness of the coconut rice with a healthy twist.

If you prefer dishes with a vegan option, you might consider serving coconut rice with vegan gobi Manchurian. Or, try a tofu curry stir fry with some green beans or any other vegetables you have. Drizzle with vegan peanut sauce and some green onions.

When you don't know what to serve with coconut rice but know you want a little heat, you could try some jerk pork, beef curry, or chicken vindaloo for that added heat factor.

Of course, most of these recipes can be adapted to create your own tasty recipe. You can use your favorite seafood, vegetables, spices, or meats to make a home-cooked dinner that is delicious and nutritious.

Now, let’s get cooking!

1. Chicken Vindaloo

Chicken pieces in vindaloo sauce in white bowl

When it comes to Indian cuisine, vindaloo certainly has a good amount of heat. If you can handle the heat, the flavor of this dish is worth it!

Vindaloo can be made with chicken, beef, vegetables, tofu, mutton, shrimp, and lamb.

Don't be discouraged by the heat. When served with coconut rice dishes and mango lassi, the sweetness helps calm the heat allowing you to taste everything happening in this complex side dish.

2. Tofo Curry

Tofu in yellow curry sauce with red bell peppers and onion strips served with rice and topped with chopped parsley

This tofu curry is a great vegan option when you want to know what to serve with coconut rice.

You can even add any leftover coconut milk to the curry to give your dinner a sweeter flavor or add more salt and other seasonings to make your curry more savory.

3. Barbacoa With Lime Juice

Pulled roast beef on a black plate with half a lime on side

Barbacoa and coconut rice are excellent foundations on which to build a coconut rice bowl.

Simply add some corn, black beans, and roasted sweet potato to the barbacoa on a bed of coconut rice.

Prepare your favorite recipe for salsa to top your bowl. Add a dollop of sour cream, and drizzle with lime juice for a healthy and delicious recipe.

4. Glazed Salmon With Soy Sauce

Salmon fillet topped with spices alongside rice and chopped vegetables

This glazed salmon can be served with coconut rice. Add your favorite side dishes like roasted Brussels sprouts or any other vegetables that you might have in your kitchen for a tasty meal at lunch or dinner.

For the salmon to stay juicy and tender, you need to marinate it. This recipe features a marinade made of chicken broth, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, salt, black pepper, and maple syrup.

Maple syrup can be substituted for honey or brown sugar. Also, the balsamic vinegar can be swapped out for rice vinegar, red wine vinegar, or white vinegar.

Prepare this marinade in a measuring cup, then pour it over your salmon.

Let it marinate overnight or even for a few hours in the fridge for the best results. In a pinch, let it marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.

5. Vegetarian Curry

Tofu cubes mixed with yellow and green ball pepper strips in yellow curry sauce

Curries are an excellent dish to serve with leftover coconut, jasmine, or brown rice in addition to any vegetables that you might have taking up space in your kitchen. Carrots, peppers, mushrooms, onions, or green beans would all work well.

Keep your curry vegan by using tofu, tempeh, sweet potatoes, beans, or chickpeas.

If you prefer a non-vegan option, swap put the tofu by adding grilled meat or cooked vegetables to your curry for a quick and flavorful meal.

6. Honey Sesame Chicken

Chicken cubes in honey sauce topped with sesame seeds

You can cook this chicken side dish with chicken or any protein you want. Beef, shrimp, pork, tofu, or vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, or even brussels sprouts.

When cooking honey sesame chicken on a stove top, it needs to be cooked at medium heat and frequently stirred to avoid evaporation. You will want lots of sauce because it's the best part to serve with leftover rice.

7. Gobi Manchurian

Manchurian is another dinner meal that can be made with a variety of different things.

You can cook this side dish with chicken, beef, prawns, tofu, or a number of different vegetables like cauliflower, also known as gobi.

Featuring the bold flavors of ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic powder, and chilis, gobi Manchurian goes well with the sweetness of the coconut milk in the coconut rice.

8. Beef Curry

Beef cubes in red curry sauce topped with bay leaves and red chili pepper

 Loaded with the flavors of curry powder and red chili pepper, this beef main dish can be doubled to help with your weekly meal planning.

Use this delicious curry recipe as part of your weekly meal prep, and change it up by making it with chicken or shrimp.

You can also swap out the vegetable oil for olive oil.

Even table salt can be swapped out for Himalayan salt, kosher salt, or sea salt. Get creative and work with what you have.

Serve it up with coconut rice and a samosa for a healthy and authentically Indian meal.

9. Rajma

White rice with white beans in red sauce and fresh parsley on top on white bowl

 This comforting Indian recipe is one of those side dishes that combine flavor after flavor, including garlic, cumin, and coriander.

This recipe is vegan, but you can choose to add chicken, beef, pork, or even shrimp to this dish and serve it with coconut rice for a complete meal.

10. Jerk Pork

Jerk pork in Jamaican seasoning with a knife about to slice it

 This jerk pork recipe is an excellent accompaniment to serve with your favorite coconut rice dish. The Caribbean flavor is enhanced by the sweetness of the coconut rice.

Jerk can be made with more than just pork. You can cook chicken, fish, beef, or shrimp with jerk seasonings, and they all pair well with coconut rice.

11. Mango Sticky Rice With Coconut Milk

Peeled mango cut into cubes with sticky rice on side and mint leaves

This mango sticky rice recipe is an excellent way to make your coconut rice because it can be used in so many different ways. That can be helpful when doing your weekly meal prep.

It's so light and versatile. You can eat it on its own, add some jerk pork and make a coconut rice bowl, or serve it with a main dish like BBQ chicken or blackened fish for a healthy, tasty, and fulfilling meal that you can take to work with you or have for dinner tonight!

12. Cashew Chicken

chicken slices and cashew nuts over white rice with spring onion slices on top

 With some simple ingredients and 15 minutes of cooking time, you can have some delicious cashew chicken to serve with coconut rice.

Loaded with garlic and ginger, this dish requires less than 5 minutes of prep time and only 10 minutes until it's finished cooking.

This is an ideal recipe to use up any leftover jasmine rice, coconut rice, or even any remaining noodles that you might have left over.

13. Thai Red Curry With Vegetable

This recipe calls for jasmine rice to be served on the side.

Cooking coconut rice instead will enhance the flavor of the coconut milk in the stir-fry, as well as the cooked peppers and basil in the sauce.

14. Hawaiian Pineapple Pork

This is a dish that embraces the flavors of the tropics, so it only makes sense to pair it with coconut rice.

The coconut milk used in the rice will play nicely with the pineapple, ginger, garlic powder, and red pepper found in this dish.

15. Vegan Peanut Sauce

This vegan peanut sauce is an excellent recipe for anyone who loves stir-fry or rice bowls.

Made with coconut milk, soy sauce, ginger, garlic powder, and of course, peanut butter, this sauce can take your coconut rice bowl from a side dish to the main dish.

In a large bowl, simply add your favorite protein like barbacoa, jerk pork, or gobi Manchurian, add your favorite vegetables to a bed of coconut rice and drizzle with your peanut sauce for a delicious and fulfilling main dish.

You can even cook with it. Simply add a healthy scoop of the sauce to whatever protein and vegetable combination you have cooked up and let it simmer over medium high heat for a few minutes.

You will love the peanut flavor and the creamy texture of this delicious vegan sauce.

16. Thai Fish Curry

While this dish can be made in less than 30 minutes, it features a variety of seasonings that will become more fully realized the longer you allow your fish to cook.

Cooking your favorite white fish in coconut milk and spices for as long as 2 hours is best. That will give you plenty of time to cook the rice while you wait.

Having that extra time allows you to serve both the fish and the coconut rice recipes while they are hot and fresh!

17. Coconut Rice Bowl

This coconut rice bowl features curried jasmine rice cooked in coconut milk and is loaded with nutritious veggies.

Garlic, ginger, asparagus, green beans, broccoli, snap peas, and even lemongrass make this coconut rice bowl a boost for your total body wellness.

This particular recipe features seared tofu, but you can also use grilled chicken, salmon, or steak to beef up this bowl (pun fully intended).

18. Hawaiian Chicken

This Hawaiian chicken recipe served with some coconut rice might inspire you to have a pina colada afterward.

Not many side dishes would pair quite as well with this delicious nod to the islands as coconut rice.

Try garnishing yours with some toasted coconut and roasted cashews.

19. Vegan Lemongrass and Coconut Milk Curry

With the flavors of lemongrass and coconut already so prevalent in this recipe, it stands to reason that any type of rice dishes would pair well with it.

As with most vegan recipes, the tofu can be swapped out with any kind of protein you prefer.

Sweet potato, chicken, fish, or chickpeas would all substitute well in this dish.

20. Grilled Mahi Mahi With Mango Salsa

 I love Mahi Mahi because it is a fulfilling fish, but it still keeps my calorie count down. Served with rice, this entire recipe is less than 500 calories.

It is, however, loaded with protein, potassium, and vitamins A and C.

With the addition of coconut rice and mango avocado salsa, this is one of those dishes that you will love hearing your family rave about.

Best Side Dishes To Serve With Coconut Rice

  • Chicken Vindaloo
  • Tofu Curry
  • Barbacoa
  • Glazed Salmon
  • Vegetable Curry
  • Honey Sesame Chicken
  • Gobi Manchurian
  • Beef Curry
  • Rajma
  • Jerk Pork
  • Mango Sticky Rice
  • Cashew Chicken
  • Thai Red Curry With Vegetables
  • Hawaiian Pineapple Pork
  • Vegan Peanut Sauce
  • Thai Fish Curry
  • Coconut Rice Bowl
  • Hawaiian Chicken
  • Vegan Lemongrass Coconut Curry
  • Grilled Mahi Mahi With Mango Salsa

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What to Serve With Coconut Rice

Looking for the best sides to eat with your flavorful coconut rice? We have 22 delicious ideas for the perfect meal.
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Coconut Rice, coconut rice recipes, coconut rice side dishes, what to serve with coconut rice
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
Author: Corrie


  • 1 coconut rice


  • Prepare your favorite coconut rice recipe.
  • Select a side dish such as chicken vindaloo, tofu curry, barbacoa, glazed salmon, vegetable curry, honey sesame chicken, gobi Manchurian, beef curry, rajma, jerk pork, mango sticky rice, cashew chicken, Thai red curry with vegetables, Hawaiian pineapple pork, vegan peanut sauce, Thai fish curry, coconut rice bowl, Hawaiian chicken, vegan lemongrass and coconut curry, or grilled Mahi Mahi with mango salsa and prepare.
  • Serve together and Enjoy!
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