Coconut milk is the ultimate summer ingredient. It’s light and refreshing, with a subtly sweet flavor that instantly evokes a tropical beach getaway. It’s also much more versatile than many home cooks give it credit for. From breakfast to snacks to healthy dinners, desserts, and cocktails, here are 10 delicious ways to use coconut milk in the kitchen this summer.

1Coconut Quinoa Porridge

Williams Sonoma

Oatmeal, we love you, but sometimes change is a good thing. Switch up your morning routine with this delicious breakfast quinoa. Cooking the quinoa in coconut milk instead of water gives it a thick, creamy texture and subtle sweetness that’s guaranteed to perk up your morning, even on Monday.

2Thai Coconut Soup

Thai coconut soup
Paleo Leap

Soup may not be at the top of your dinner list when the weather heats up, but when the soup is as light, flavorful, and satisfying as this one, it’s worth making an exception. Not only is this Thai coconut soup packed with veggies (including immunity-boosting ginger and garlic to help ward off summer colds), it’s dairy-free, gluten-free, and paleo-friendly.

3Lime and Coconut Chicken

coconut lime chicken
Chaos in the Kitchen

This easy, protein-packed chicken recipe uses coconut milk as the base for a flavorful marinade. Served over rice or couscous, it makes for a quick dinner with a hint of tropical flair that even picky eaters will love.

4Skinny Coconut Margarita

skinny coconut margarita
With Salt and Wit

If you thought margaritas couldn’t get any more refreshing, think again: these skinny coconut margaritas are made with light coconut milk and coconut water, which gives them the texture and flavor of a delicious tropical cocktail without the shockingly high calorie count.

5Coconut Shrimp Curry

coconut shrimp curry
Jo Cooks

What’s not to love about a meal that comes together in about 20 minutes, marination time included? This coconut shrimp curry is healthy, simple to make, and most importantly: seriously tasty to eat.

6Chilled Mango Soup With Coconut And Lime

chilled mango soup
The Wimpy Vegetarian

Can’t wrap your head around eating anything even remotely hot? Opt for this insanely refreshing chilled mango soup, which is like a Hawaiian vacation in a bowl.

7Coconut Chia Seed Pudding

coconut chia seed
The Healthy Foodie

This coconut chia seed pudding might taste, look, and feel like a rich dessert, but thanks to chia seeds and fresh berries, it’s packed with protein, vitamins, and Omega-3s. The perfect way to satisfy your summer dessert cravings, no guilt required.

8Slow Cooker Coconut Cashew Chicken

slow cooker chicken
Le Creme de la Crumb

Too hot to turn the stove on? Don’t want to spend money and calories on takeout again? Get out your slow cooker and make cashew chicken, a restaurant favorite, at home. If you think this is a satisfying meal straight out of the slow cooker (which it is), just wait until you try the leftovers tomorrow. Amazing.

9Fruit Popsicles With Coconut Milk

fruit popsicles coconut
Rawsome Vegan Life

Popsicles practically become their own food group in the summer. These raw vegan popsicles combine coconut milk with the seasonal bounty of fresh fruits and herbs to create a mouthwatering, beat-the-heat treat.

10Coffee Coconut Ice Cream

coffee coconut ice cream
The Minimalist Baker

Whether you’re trying to cut back on dairy or are just looking for a lighter alternative, coconut milk makes some seriously dreamy ice cream. Case in point? This coffee coconut ice cream, made with just 4 ingredients. As an added bonus, the caffeine provides a refreshing energy boost that’s much needed after a long nap in the hammock.

READ MORE: What Are The Benefits of Coconut Oil?