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Roasted Cornish Hens

These roasted Cornish hens are easy, impressive, and delicious. Infused with veggies and herbs, and juicy every time, you’re going to love them!

Roasted Cornish Hens on a serving tray.

Need a perfect, simple, and elegant date night meal?

These roasted Cornish hens are super easy to make and impressive to serve!

Roasted with herbaceous thyme and rosemary, earthy garlic, and stuffed with aromatic veggies, they are packed full of flavor; no dry, flavorless chicken here!

If you can roast a chicken, you can definitely roast a Cornish hen. And because they’re small, they cook up in no time at all.

The next time you’re looking for a delicious dinner to serve your guests or whip up on a date night, try these roasted Cornish hens!

Roasted Cornish Hens ingredients on a table.

Ingredients for roasted Cornish hens

  • Cornish hens – Two 3-lb hens.
  • Spices – Paprika, dried thyme, onion powder, and garlic powder are the perfect combination of spices for these hens.
  • Veggies – Carrots, garlic, celery, and fresh rosemary stuffed in the cavity of the birds to infuse them with flavor.
  • Olive oil – The fat of choice here to help the skin crisp up and add moisture.
Cornish hens covered in spices.
Roasted Cornish Hens on a sheet pan.

What is a cornish hen?

A Cornish hen is a small breed of chicken that originated in southwest England. 

They usually weigh no more than 2-3lbs each, which makes cooking times fast! 

Their flavor is identical to that of a normal chicken, but also it’s more tender and leaner.

You can easily find Cornish hens in most major grocery stores.

Roasted Cornish Hens on a serving platter with fresh herbs.

Different spices

Feel free to develop your favorite spice blend for your roasted Cornish hen! 

Here are some other great ideas to play around with:

  • Smoked paprika
  • Cayenne 
  • Cinnamon
  • Oregano
  • Ginger
  • Herbs de Provence
  • Lemons (to be stuffed in the cavity) 
Roasted Cornish Hens on a white serving dish.

What to serve with?

Feel free to use your favorite side dishes! 

Serve it alongside a fresh, crunchy salad, like my Cucumber Tomato Salad, or maybe put them with a side of smooth and creamy Instant Pot Mashed Sweet Potatoes.

It’s up to you! There’s no wrong way to serve a roasted Cornish hen.

Storage and leftovers

Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

To reheat, simply put in a microwave-safe dish and cover loosely with a damp paper towel, and heat for 2-3 minutes or until heated thoroughly. 

Roasted Cornish Hens served on a table.

More chicken recipes

Roasted Cornish Hens

Author: Brandy O’Neill – Nutmeg Nanny
These roasted Cornish hens are easy, impressive, and delicious. Infused with veggies and herbs, and juicy every time, you’re going to love them!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4 servings



  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Pat your cornish hens dry with a paper towel and place them in a large-rimmed baking dish. 
  • In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, salt, garlic powder, dried thyme, onion powder, paprika, and black pepper. 
  • Drizzle the oil mixture over the cornish hens and rub it all over, making sure to coat the hens on all sides.
  • Fill the cavity of each hen with two-quarters of the onion, half of the carrot, half of the celery, one clove of garlic, and one sprig of rosemary. 
  • Tie the legs with kitchen twine and tuck the wings under the bird. This will prevent them from burning in the oven. 
  • Roast the hens for 50-55 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees F. Baste the hens with juices from the pan after 25 minutes. 
  • Remove the hens from the oven and cover the pan with aluminum foil.
  • Rest the hens for 10 minutes, or until the internal temperature registers 165 degrees F. 
  • Serve the cornish hens whole or carved with a garnish of fresh herbs or flakey sea salt. Enjoy warm. 
  • Store any leftover hen in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. 


Serving: 1g | Calories: 408kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 168mg | Sodium: 728mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword baked cornish hens, cornish game hens, cornish hens, how to cook cornish hens, roasting cornish hens
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Roasted Cornish Hens pin for Pinterest.

About Brandy!

I am a food lover and recipe developer bringing you delicious recipes that taste great and are easy to make! My food is inspired by travels around the world and my love of flavorful food. A list of things that make me happy: cats, Coke Zero, houseplants, and travel. Read more...

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