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Can you freeze coconut milk? This method works well to preserve this rich, creamy ingredient: here’s how to do it!

Can you freeze coconut milk
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Got leftover coconut milk? This rich, creamy ingredient comes in a 15-ounce can, but many recipes only call for small quantities. We’ll often use a bit of coconut milk for a curry or soup, then have an open can that we’re not sure what to do with. Can you toss the remainder in the freezer? Here’s what to know about how to freeze coconut milk!

Can you freeze coconut milk?

Freezing canned coconut milk is a simple and effective way to preserve it. The texture can become slightly lump after thawing, but stir it up and it’s suitable for use in most types of recipes. Swirl it into a curry, soup or smoothie and it works beautifully!

There are two types of coconut milk: canned coconut milk and coconut milk in a carton (which is lower in fat content and intended for drinking as a non-dairy milk). The information below was tested with canned coconut milk.

How long does it last refrigerated?

Opened canned coconut milk lasts up to 5 days refrigerated. If the can is unopened, it lasts for 2 to 5 years: so the pantry is your best bet for long-term storage! But if you’ve opened the can, the best way to preserve it is in the freezer, where it lasts for up to 6 months.

How to freeze coconut milk

Ready to freeze coconut milk? It’s best to start with canned coconut milk that is as fresh as possible. It’s helpful to separate it into smaller containers or bags so you don’t have to use it all at one time. Here’s how to freeze coconut milk:

  • Prepare the coconut milk for freezing: Pour the coconut milk into a plastic container or resealable freezer bag, leaving at least ½ inch of headspace in the container to allow for expansion during freezing. Or, you can freeze it into smaller portions in a silicon tray or in plastic zip top bags. You can also use an ice cube tray if desired (allow the cubes to freeze for 2 hours, then pop them out and store in a resealable plastic bag; ice cubes holes are typically 2 tablespoons in volume).
  • Label the date: Seal the container or bag tightly and label it with the date.
  • Freeze: Place the container or bag in the freezer. Freeze for up to 6 months, but use after 3 months for best results.
Can you freeze coconut milk

How to defrost frozen coconut milk

After the coconut milk is frozen, you’ll need to thaw it correctly before using it. Or if you’re using it in a soup or curry, you can drop it right into the recipe! If you prefer to defrost, the instructions are below. Use the defrosted coconut milk within 3 days.

  • Place the coconut milk in the refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours to defrost. Do not defrost at room temperature because of the risk of bacteria growth. (If you’re in a rush and using the milk in a cooked or baked dish, you could also microwave the coconut milk in short bursts; just be careful not to overcook it.)
  • Or, place the container in a bowl of lukewarm water for 30 minutes. This can speed up the process. If it’s not fully thawed, place in the refrigerator to finish the process.
  • Stir. Coconut milk needs to be stirred to re-integrate the texture.

Uses for coconut milk

Once thawed, you can use frozen coconut milk in most recipes that call for it. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

More freezing methods

Many types of milk freeze well, as do many fruits and vegetables! Here are a few more freezing methods to review:

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Can you freeze coconut milk

Can You Freeze Coconut Milk?


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 minutes
  • Yield: N/A

Description

Can you freeze coconut milk? This method works well to preserve this rich, creamy ingredient: here’s how to do it!


Ingredients

  • Canned coconut milk

Instructions

  1. Pour the coconut milk into a storage container, leaving at least ½ inch of headspace in the container to allow for expansion during freezing. Or, you can freeze it into smaller portions in a silicon freezer tray. You can also use an ice cube tray if desired (allow the cubes to freeze for 2 hours, then pop them out and store in a resealable plastic bag; ice cube holes are typically 2 tablespoons in volume).
  2. Seal the container tightly and label it with the date. Place it in the freezer. Freeze for up to 3 months for best results, or up to 6 months.
  3. To defrost the coconut milk, place it in the refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours (or you can place the container in a bowl of lukewarm water). Stir the coconut milk to re-integrate the texture. Once thawed, use within 3 days.
  • Category: Frozen
  • Method: Frozen
  • Cuisine: Frozen
  • Diet: Vegan

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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3 Comments

  1. Nadine V says:

    Hi, can you explain why the defrosted coconut milk needs to be used in only 3 days?

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      Opened canned coconut milk can last about 7 days refrigerated, but we took a few days off that assuming that your coconut milk was not immediately frozen directly from the can. If so, you can likely increase the 3 days by a few days. However, canned coconut milk does always surprise us on how fast it spoils: so we recommend using it as fresh as possible.

  2. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!