Arroz con Coco Blanco (Coconut Rice)

by Erica Dinho on March 14, 2009

This post is also available in Spanish

arroz  con coco

Arroz con Coco Blanco or Coconut Rice is a typical dish from the coast of Colombia and is simply delicious! Serve it with fish or any other type of seafood.

Arroz con Coco




  • 2 Cups long grain rice
  • 4 Cups coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Receta de Arroz con Coco Blanco


Place the rice in a small pot, add the coconut milk, sugar and salt.
Bring to a boil over medium high-heat. Stir once, cover and reduce heat to low, cook for 20 minutes. Do not remove the cover. Remove the pot from the heat and let it seat for 5 minutes. Fluff the rice using a fork and serve immediately.

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Maggie March 17, 2009 at 10:29 AM

This sounds wonderful! I bet the bit of sweetness is great with spicy dishes.


2 soupmaker March 20, 2009 at 6:30 AM

Have all the ingredients in the cupboard and cant wait to try this one. Thanks.


3 Erica March 20, 2009 at 2:35 PM

Maggie, The coconut milk adds a wonderful flavor to the rice,perfect with spicy dishes.


4 Raquel77 July 12, 2009 at 3:20 PM

I cut the recipe in half and it served 4. I also went a tad shy on the sugar and it was still sweet enough. It went great with our steak and aji. Definately the type of rice to have with a spicy dish.


5 Erica July 12, 2009 at 6:37 PM

Hi Raquel,
Thank you for the feedback!


6 colombiatraveler November 1, 2009 at 5:59 AM

I’m not trying to be rude or anything. I just want to be clear about this. But from my many travels to fact i just got back from an excursion going to Cartagena, Barranquilla, Santa Marta, and Tayarona….your recipe is nothing like colombian coconut rice. It looks more like asian coconut rice which is totally different. Colombian coconut rice is always dirty brown in color (and sometimes has raisins) and never white.


7 Erica November 1, 2009 at 7:30 AM

Colombia Traveler,
If you read my recipe list well, you will notice the brown coconut rice with raisins too. My sister lives in Cartagena and this is one of the every day side dishes in her house and you can find this rice recipe in some Colombian traditional recipe books.This rice is popular in both coasts the Pacific and Caribbean. If you read the book “Secrets of Colombian cooking” by Patricia McCausland-Gallo a Colombia chef, born in the Caribbean coast of Colombia , you can find this rice dish in her book. It is a great book with traditional Colombian recipes in English.

Thank you for your comment!


8 Maria♥ February 24, 2012 at 9:36 AM

so true,


9 Mike November 6, 2014 at 12:01 PM

2 Colombianraveler ….Colombians serve more white arroz de coco than brown, may I suggest don’t comment until your sure……….I live in Colombia and have for the last 17 years always seen far more white arroz de coco and not the brown arroz de panela con coco…..


10 Sonia January 20, 2010 at 10:22 PM

Looks delicious and cooking it right now. I’d rather take recipes from local then people that have just visited a country. So ignore Columbiantraveler.


11 Brian April 25, 2010 at 11:22 AM

I just spent a wonderful week near Tayrona staying with some local families, and all my dishes were served with coconut rice that was white. Being Korean and enjoying lots of southeast asian cuisine, it was a bit more subtle than Asian coconut rice. In addition, it seemed like they added a few bits of color – perhaps a few grains of brown rice and maybe a few shreds of carrots to give a nice look. It was a good compliment to Polla Sudado.


12 Vero June 1, 2010 at 4:01 PM

I just recently found this recipe, and it sounds great! I just have a question regarding the coconut milk…is that different from coconut water? And where can I find it? I scoured a local grocery store and had no luck. Any help you can offer would be great!


13 Erica June 1, 2010 at 4:43 PM

Vero- You can find canned coconut at your local market (Latin aisle or Asian aisle).


14 Andrea June 20, 2010 at 7:11 PM

You can also make coconut milk which is preferable with this dish. Its very simple just search it


15 Samara August 17, 2010 at 9:18 AM

@colombian traveller and @Erica: This white coconut rice is an everyday dish indeed. I agree with Erica as in Monteria my hometown we have it every single day and it is also very popular in the countryside. The brownish one is also a coconut rice but because is more elaborated we mostly do it for special ocasions or when in the mood! :). The brownish one is made in a different way. Best regards.


16 Diane October 20, 2010 at 3:50 PM

For an amuse bouche, I like to place a sauteed sea scallop on a small lump of coconut rice (I use jasmine rice) then drizzle w/ saffron-scented fresh lemon juice.


17 Erica (not author) November 3, 2010 at 5:51 PM

Hi! I just found this recipe and I wanted to thank you for it. We needed a traditional Colombian dish to bring in for school and this will help so much with preparing it. Can’t wait to try it. :)


18 doric February 25, 2011 at 2:03 PM

this recipe helped me ace a spanish culture and food assignment thanks


19 ana April 24, 2011 at 4:00 PM

Samara I’d. Like to talk to you, I lived in. Monteria myself, is rare to find someone from there, making arroz con coco as we speak


20 MiMayo September 9, 2011 at 10:26 PM

The brown in real colombian coconut rice is from the carmalization of the coconutsolids in the coconut oil that seperates. This recipe without the right method is not the colombian way.


21 Erica September 10, 2011 at 8:46 AM

MiMayo- We have two kinds of coconut rice in Colombia “White Coconut Rice” and “Brown Coconut Rice” Here is the recipe from my site: White coconut rice is serve all over the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts of Colombia!


22 wacka-doo September 17, 2011 at 9:58 AM

My family is from barranquilla, and as far as I know the white style is how its done in cartagena, although we’ve found both styles in cartagena from vacationing there. In barranquilla I only know the brown style never the white. Also inthe browned coconut recipe u need to fry up ur rice a little more, it usually looks chalk colored withbits of black/dark brown.


23 Fiorella September 17, 2011 at 10:37 AM

I am from Cartagena and my mom makes white coconut rice all the time. It is very popular. I grew up eating this rice as a side dish for our seafood dishes.


24 Carolina October 23, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Hi dear! I am colombian from the caribbean coast, and the actual recepy for coconut rice is a little bit diferent than the one you offer here.
Ingredients are ok but make sure if is possible to get the cocunut milk directly from a coconut (The flavor is better ). once you do that, you start frying the milk till it becomes thick (add brown sugar so you can give the rice itcharacteristic golden color). After the coconut mil is thick add more cocunut milk and a water, the you add the rice and the salt (For each 2 spoons of sugar add a small one with salt). You wait until its dry and voila! you got the original recepy.



25 Liliana Maria October 23, 2011 at 1:20 PM

I am from the Pacific coast of Colombia and this is the way my mom and my grandmother make the” arroz coco blanco”. I think that every family has a different way to make it around the country.


26 Doris October 24, 2011 at 12:16 PM

My name is Doris and I am from Cartagena de Indias. I made this rice yesterday and it was the same rice my nana used to make for my family. She used fresh coconut milk, but the flavor was very similar. Thank you.


27 Natalia November 23, 2011 at 2:25 PM

Hi I’m from Bogota Colombia and we make the Coconut Rice with raisins


28 Luz Gudgel May 7, 2012 at 3:40 PM

Hi I’m from Bogota Colombia we made smoke salmon and the coconut rice and fried plantain. It was superb !


29 Jaqui May 23, 2014 at 3:53 PM

Almost all countries in south & central America, and Caribbean serve a version coconut rice with a main meal. I think the ‘color of the rice’ being debated here is just based on a few variables like if you use white or brown sugar, ‘burning’ the sugar, and the ‘pegao/con-con’ at the bottom of the pan. Adding guandules, raisins and carrots are personal preferences & variations and could very well change the ‘color’. Pointless debate on here if you as me. Anyways Erica, I am so glad I found your website. Your recipes look fabulous and I can’t wait to try them. I’m a big fan of Colombian food and I always wanted to learn to make a few of my favs. Thanks for sharing! -Jaqui


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