Homemade Coconut Milk Recipe

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I’ve been using coconut products for years and now you can find everything from coconut cream to coconut flour in your grocery store baking aisle. Coconut milk is a wonderful alternative to pasteurized cow’s milk or to rice, almond, soy, or other plant-based milk, and you can find this at most stores as well.

Unfortunately, canned coconut milk at the store usually contains BPA in the can lining. New refrigerated carton varieties are somewhat better but can be expensive and have added sweeteners or preservatives. Not to mention the cost and packaging generated for what is — let’s face it — mostly water!

Fortunately, making coconut milk at home is very simple and inexpensive! From my calculations, homemade coconut milk costs less than $1 per batch. We use it in smoothies, curries, ice cream, or just to drink by itself. It can also be flavored with natural vanilla, strawberries, or cocoa powder. (Yum!)

How to Make Coconut Milk From Scratch

Coconut is packed with medium-chain fatty acids and lauric acid with a host of health benefits — one of the reasons coconut oil has become so popular. My kids can’t get enough of it and I love that it is full of the healthy fats that are especially good for growing bodies.

Best of all, you only need two ingredients to make coconut milk and one of them is self-stable! Grab some unsweetened shredded dried coconut from the pantry, add some hot water and a blender, and voila — fresh coconut milk!

Another bonus: this recipe takes minimal prep time and clean-up. You don’t have to have a nut milk bag for a strainer, either (although it is nice if you make coconut or almond milk from scratch often). I have used a towel or some cheesecloth in a pinch.

I’m experimenting with creative ways to use the coconut pulp when I’m done… let me know in the comments if you’ve found a favorite way to use it!

Coconut Milk Recipes to Try

Coconut milk works great for vegan, dairy-free, or paleo diets. Here are some recipes to try with your freshly made creation!

Try this inexpensive way to make coconut milk:

homemade coconut milk

Homemade Coconut Milk Recipe

Homemade coconut milk from shredded coconut for a healthy and inexpensive milk alternative.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Calories 390kcal
Author Katie Wells





  • Heat water until hot, but not boiling.
  • Put shredded coconut in blender or Vitamix and add the hot water. If all the water will not fit, this can be done in batches. See instructions below.
  • Blend on high for several minutes until thick and creamy.
  • Pour through a mesh strainer to remove most of the coconut solids.
  • Squeeze the strained liquid through a towel or several thicknesses of cheesecloth to remove remaining pieces of coconut.
  • If you had to split the water into batches put all the coconut that you strained out back in the blender, add the remaining water, and repeat.
  • Drink immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days after making for best flavor and texture. Since there are no preservatives or fillers, the "cream" of the coconut milk may separate to the top if stored in the fridge. Just shake or stir before using.


Nutrition Facts
Homemade Coconut Milk Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 390 Calories from Fat 342
% Daily Value*
Fat 38g58%
Saturated Fat 34g213%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Sodium 30mg1%
Potassium 321mg9%
Carbohydrates 14g5%
Fiber 10g42%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 20mg2%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Try adding different flavor options after all coconut has been strained out!
  • Vanilla coconut milk: ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Strawberry coconut milk: ½ cup pureed fresh or frozen strawberries
  • Chocolate coconut milk: 2 tsp cocoa powder + ½ tsp vanilla extract

Like this recipe? Check out my new cookbook, or get all my recipes (over 500!) in a personalized weekly meal planner here!

Ever made coconut milk before? Planning to try sometime? Offer your favorite tips below!

Make your own homemade coconut milk with only shredded coconut and water for a simple, inexpensive and healthy drink.

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


402 responses to “Homemade Coconut Milk Recipe”

  1. Davilyn Eversz Avatar
    Davilyn Eversz

    I would suggest you use organic coconut. About a decade ago the coconut trees in Malaysia and other Asian countries started getting a fungus which kills the trees. They tried simply everything which did not work. They finally resorted to injecting the trees with formaldehyde which they found killed the fungus. The use of this method is not allowed in organic production.

  2. Emily Fitzgerald Avatar
    Emily Fitzgerald

    I just did this and it doesn’t seem nearly as thick and fatty as the canned stuff. How much pulp do you usually have left.

  3. Emily Fitzgerald Avatar
    Emily Fitzgerald

    Can you post a picture of the nutritional info for the shredded coconut? I’m curious about the fat content. Trying to replace my sons goat milk. Seems he’s having a bad reaction now. The website wouldn’t show nutritional info

  4. Xelene Hecate Avatar
    Xelene Hecate

    It was quite hilarious to see this! I will definitely be trying this out soon. But where I come from..Coconut Milk is used exclusively for cooking! BUT, we on the island have been using coconut oil for our hair for years!!!

  5. Sherry Lynn England Avatar
    Sherry Lynn England

    I just made the coconut milk and I have to say it is so much better than the Native Forest brand I had previously bought. Am looking for ways to use the leftover coconut. Thanks so much Katie!! It was very easy to make. hugs

    1. Barbara B Avatar
      Barbara B

      The pulp can be used in cakes / Jamaican Totoes, dumplings or other kinds of pastry that calls for coconut.

  6. Angela Cowan Avatar
    Angela Cowan

    Ive been using this recipe and it is great. I purchased my coconut from amazon @ $58 for a 22 pound bag. So its only about $1.50 per gal for me. I also found it a little cheaper through azure standard for next time. Plus you can turn around and make flour with the pulp. Very cost effective 😉 Thank you for sharing. Another quick FYI Amazon sells a nut milk bag that works excellent for the straining process.

  7. MallieJane Avatar

    Hi! Coming late to this discussion… I haven’t found a dried coconut that still has all the vitamins. Tropical Traditions makes it impossible to see the nutrition label on the website. Can you tell me what percent of the vitamins are in the bag? I am planning to try to crack whole coconuts, but I’d love to find a more sustainable (for my busy life) process. Making for a toddler with multiple food allergies, so I really need all those vitamins!

  8. Andrea Avatar

    I made this recipe last night with great results, but this morning when I woke up all the fat had separated into a hard layer at the top and after several minutes of stirring it still wasn’t smooth again. Any advice? Did I do something wrong?

    1. Andrea Avatar

      Also – I only mixed the coconut with water one time. I had read somewhere that after getting the milk out you can mix the coconut with water again to get out more milk. Do you recommend this for getting a higher volume?

  9. Ro Avatar

    Hi Katie,

    I do this with whole, off the shelf, coconuts. Cracking them and getting the meat out is super fast after you do your first 2 or 3.

    I’m looking for a solution for the fact that I end up with a separated half coconut milk, half water blend in my pitcher. I only want the coconut milk, not the water I added in order to get it extracted. I generally use a ladle to separate them but you need the hands of a surgeon to get this done effectively.

    Wondering if you or any of your readers have tried to separate the two and how you did it?


    1. Kelly H Avatar

      Perhaps try one of the measuring cups used to separate the fat off of stock/broth?

  10. Duncan Avatar

    I knew this would be good, but OH MY!! Got my first bag of coconut from Tropical Traditions, so this was the first thing on my list. Made a small batch in our Ninja (best small appliance ever!)… just enough to make my first batch of your shampoo, and devour the rest with just a touch of raw honey. I was wondering if there’s anything to be done with the remaining coconut? Compost bin was our first thought, but we’re not quite there yet. Anywho, this was a delightful treat and I can not thank you enough!

  11. Jenee Sterling Avatar
    Jenee Sterling

    Is it normal when putting the coconut milk in the fridge for it to separate and the top be hard like coconut oil would be in the fridge?

  12. Kristen Halverson Avatar
    Kristen Halverson

    This was fantastic. Looking for ideas (simple, fast) for what to do with the leftover coconut meat afterward–too good to toss!

  13. Carrie Jones Avatar
    Carrie Jones

    I cracked open an used a fresh coconut for this tonight. Looking forward to trying it once it’s cold! I’m dehydrating the coconut that was strained out for coconut meal for baking. Yay!

  14. donnamarie Avatar

    i am going to try this coconut shred mixture 🙂 thanks bunches 🙂 d

  15. Gail Henry Avatar
    Gail Henry

    Use a hammer and nail to put holes in the three indentations in the top – only two holes are necessary, then let it drip out – or shake it, as I did – into a glass.

  16. Gail Henry Avatar
    Gail Henry

    I bought two coconuts, drank the water, used a hammer to crack, put the cracked pieces in the oven at 350 for 15 minutes so as to release the meat. I did not peel the brown left on the coconut. I shredded in my food processor, then added the 4 C of hot water. Then I used an immersion blender, which worked beautifully. This was very labor-intensive, but I enjoyed it and have about 4 C of the coconut milk, which I will freeze for use in making more shampoo. Haven’t used the shampoo as yet. Thank you thank you thank you.

  17. Rebecca McGrath Avatar
    Rebecca McGrath

    I bought a big pail from tropical traditions with the intentions of making my own but the problem is it was watery. I like the cans for that cream top that you find. If I could replicate that that would be awesome. I should probably just buy an icepick and start buying coconuts lol.

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