Ever since canned coconut milk became a staple in my pantry, the food I cook has been way more exciting. Coconut milk is so rich and thick that you'd never guess it's dairy-free. That means it's a great substitute for cream in everything from desserts like homemade ice creams to silky soups. Yes, it does have a subtle coconut flavor, but it's not so strong that it overwhelms other, stronger flavors like chili and curry. In some cases, you can use it and your final product won't even taste like coconut at all.
Whether you want your food to taste like coconut or not, these 19 recipes will help you put a can of coconut milk to work in a bunch of different ways. There are great ideas here for dairy-free yogurt and ice cream substitutes, creamy vegan desserts, spicy curries, fish stews, and more, proving that this simple ingredient is capable of so much.