Our Favorite Cornish Hen Recipes

If you aren't already making Cornish hens on the regular, you should be: They're just chickens! Whether you need a quick and easy weeknight meal or something more impressive and fit for the holidays, these recipes deliver.

October 15, 2021

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Butterflied Cornish Hens with Sage Butter

While a roast chicken is no stranger to the dinner table, Cornish hens might not be in your usual repertoire — but there’s really no reason to overlook these birds. Yes, there is something that feels extra special about everyone having their own Cornish hen, but they can be cooked quickly, which means they are doable on a weeknight. Just add a healthy side dish and you’ve got a winning weeknight dinner. Plus, cornish hens are really just chickens. The Department of Agriculture classifies a Cornish game hen (or a Rock Cornish game hen) as an immature chicken that weighs 2 pounds or less and is younger than 5 weeks old. If you haven’t made them yourself yet, Sunny’s 5-star recipe is a great place to start. Her advice is to ask your butcher to butterfly the hens, cutting the backbone out so they will lie flat; this will allow them to get nice and crispy on the outside when you sear them in sage butter before baking. And the best part of all? They’ll be ready in under an hour.

Get the Recipe: Butterflied Cornish Hens with Sage Butter

Sunny's Grilled Cornish Hens and Veggies Cheat Sheet

Looking for Sunny’s “cheat sheet”? It’s probably in your cupboard — it’s a sheet pan! This entire meal comes together on a sheet pan, which means you’ll have hardly any cleanup to worry about.

Get the Recipe: Sunny's Grilled Cornish Hens and Veggies Cheat Sheet

Tuscan Grilled Cornish Hens

Ina’s lemony marinade, infused with garlic and rosemary, gives Cornish hens a lot of flavor and saves you from having to do a lot of work.

Get the Recipe: Tuscan Grilled Cornish Hens

Cornish Hens Under a Brick with Green Beans

The secret to making golden-brown Cornish hens with the crispiest skin is an aluminum foil-wrapped brick. It helps flatten the birds so every piece of skin can saute to perfection.

Get the Recipe: Cornish Hens Under a Brick with Green Beans

Clementine and Cranberry Glazed Cornish Game Hens

Use fresh clementine juice and cranberry sauce to form the base of this irresistible glaze. Reglazing the Cornish hens after they have been roasting for 20 minutes will ensure amazing flavor.

Get the Recipe: Clementine and Cranberry Glazed Cornish Game Hens

Mediterranean Cornish Hens

Honey-glazed Cornish hens, buttery couscous and veggies in only 40 minutes? Talk about a winning weeknight dinner!

Get the Recipe: Mediterranean Cornish Hens

Jerk Cornish Hens

This homemade jerk sauce, which comes together quite easily in your food processor, is so good you’ll want it on Cornish hens and a whole lot more.

Get the Recipe: Jerk Cornish Hens

Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Pepitas and parsley form the base of this irresistible pesto. Rub it under the Cornish hens’ skin to pack the ultimate flavor punch.

Get the Recipe: Roasted Cornish Game Hens With Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Adobo-Style Cornish Hens

This adobo-style method ensures juicy Cornish hens that are easy enough to make on a weeknight but equally impressive for a dinner party.

Get the Recipe: Adobo-Style Cornish Hens

Spicy Maple Cornish Hens

Butter, brown sugar and maple syrup alone would make Cornish hens pretty delicious, but Kardea takes it up a level with a little cayenne pepper, some sweet paprika and pumpkin pie spice in this recipe.

Get the Recipe: Spicy Maple Cornish Hens

Orange-Cranberry Glazed Cornish Hens

Brush melted butter, flavored with rosemary, coriander and garlic, all over the Cornish hens before roasting. Once they have finished cooking, set the oven to broil and brush the hens with an orange-cranberry sauce for a glazed-to-perfection main.

Get the Recipe: Orange-Cranberry Glazed Cornish Hens

Teriyaki Hens with Bok Choy

For a restaurant-quality meal you can whip up in only 40 minutes, look no further than these glazed Cornish hens. Just one grapefruit brings fresh flavor to this homemade teriyaki sauce and the bok choy salad.

Get the Recipe: Teriyaki Hens with Bok Choy

Glazed Cornish Hens with Pomegranate-Rice Stuffing

These pomegranate-and-orange-glazed hens make a festive main course. Wild rice and herbs create a hearty stuffing spiced with cumin and ginger. Any extra rice can be layered between grape leaves and baked to serve alongside.

Get the Recipe: Glazed Cornish Hens With Pomegranate-Rice Stuffing

Spatchcocked and Roasted Cornish Game Hen with Green Mojo and Mashed Citrus Sweet Potatoes

Toasted coriander and cumin seeds are key to giving these Cornish hens elevated flavor. Season the birds all over with a freshly ground spice mixture, drizzle with olive oil, then roast only 35 to 45 minutes.

Get the Recipe: Spatchcocked and Roasted Cornish Game Hen with Green Mojo and Mashed Citrus Sweet Potatoes