This foolproof oven-baked coconut lime rice is simmered with coconut milk and water, and scented with lime zest and juice. It's the perfect side for all your Asian-inspired and Mexican meals.
This easy rice dish is one of my very favorite sides, and the foolproof oven method is definitely my go-to way to make rice.
Why bake rice in the oven
Anyone who thinks that making rice is as easy as boiling water is, well, just wrong. I think that the fact that there is an actual appliance made for JUST that purpose speaks to how easy it is to mess up.
But a rice cooker is neither in my budget, nor something I'm willing to give up valuable counter space for.
Not when there's a way to make rice that is just as easy and just as foolproof, using kitchen equipment I already have!
The most popular way to make rice is of course on the stovetop, but when I do, one (or more) of these four things happens at least 90% of the time.
- I don't monitor the heat closely enough and it ends up boiling over, forcing me to scrub my glass stovetop. This usually leads to...
- Too much water is lost and all the water is evaporated before the rice is done, so it's crunchy and I end up having to add more water. OR
- I add TOO MUCH water and it ends up mushy.
- I forget about it while I'm busy making some complicated dish and it burns on the bottom.
Instead of heating from the bottom, the oven creates an even steaming environment that makes for evenly cooked, fluffy rice.
The oven is the way to go, guys. You just bring your liquid to a boil on the stove, add your rice, cover your pan, transfer to the oven, and you'll have perfectly cooked rice in about 20 minutes, no mess.
Jasmine rice is traditional in Thai and South Asian cuisines. It's delicate and aromatic and absolutely delicious, even without any flavorings. It's easy to find in most grocery stores.
However you can substitute regular long-grain white rice in this recipe if you prefer, with no modifications to the recipe. Brown rice has a much longer cooking time so you would need to add some additional liquid.
I use canned coconut milk in this recipe. I usually find it in both the baking and Asian ingredient aisles at my grocery store, so check both if you have trouble locating it.
I almost never buy low fat coconut milk, but for this particular recipe low fat works just as well as full fat, so don't hesitate to use it here.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a large oven-safe pan with a tight-fitting lid, bring water, coconut milk and salt to a boil on the stovetop over medium-high heat. (If your lid is not so tight-fitting, you can first cover the pan with foil and place the lid firmly on top). I love my All-Clad saute pan for this.
- Stir in the jasmine rice, cover, and transfer to the oven for 20 minutes.
3. Remove the pan from the oven and let it sit, covered, for five minutes to steam. Remove the lid and stir in the lime zest and juice.
That's all there is to it!
What goes well with coconut lime rice?
In addition to the obvious Thai and South Asian dishes, I also love this rice with Mexican food. Thai and Mexican food have the fresh flavors of lime and cilantro in common, and I love to stir in a handful of chopped cilantro when I have it around.
If you're looking for inspiration, here are just a few of the meals I love to serve this with.
Baked Coconut Lime Rice
- 1 14 oz can coconut milk either full-fat or low-fat will work
- 1 ¼ cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups jasmine rice (rinsed if indicated on the package)
- 1 lime zested and juiced
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a large oven-safe pan with a tight-fitting lid, combine the coconut milk, water and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat
- Stir the rice into the liquid and place the lid on the pan.* Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and let it rest, covered, for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and stir in the lime zest and 1 tablespoon of lime juice (½ the lime).