Coconut milk isn’t a true milk, and it isn’t the liquid found in the center of a coconut. The milk is extracted from coconut meat by pouring hot water over it. The milk is typically sold canned for use in Thai and Asian cuisine, or for flavoring desserts and frozen treats. There’s no need to throw out the extra when you open a can for just a small amount of milk. Preserving the coconut milk properly keeps it fresh so it retains its flavor and creamy texture.

Things You'll Need

Transfer the coconut milk to a plastic storage container. Seal the container with a tight-fitting lid.

Store the coconut milk in the refrigerator for four to six days. For long-term preservation, store the coconut milk in the freezer for up three months.

Thaw frozen coconut milk in the refrigerator for 24 hours before using it.

Stir the milk to recombine it immediately before use. A thick layer of milk rises to the surface during both refrigeration and freezing.


  • Unopened cans of coconut milk can be stored for two years or more in a cool pantry. Refer to the expiration date on the can for the best use-by date.

  • Frozen coconut milk remains safe for longer than three months when kept at 0 degrees Fahrenheit, but the quality may decline.