Roasted Cornish Game Hens

roasted cornish game hen in a pan.
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5 from 2 reviews

Roasted Cornish hens are easy to prepare and great for special occasion dinners. They’re seasoned with pantry spices and fresh herbs and roasted in the oven until the skin is golden and crispy. One hen is a generous serving for one person so, if you have sides, two people can easily share one.


  • 2 cornish hens (about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds each)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 carrot, cut into 1” pieces
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into 1” pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary 


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Pat the hens dry with paper towels and place them in a baking dish that’s big enough to hold both of them so they aren’t touching.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, salt, garlic powder, dried thyme, onion powder, paprika, and black pepper.
  3. Rub the oil mixture all over the hens and fill the cavity of each with the carrots, celery, garlic, and rosemary.
  4. Tie the legs with kitchen twine and tuck the wings under the bird— this will prevent them from burning in the oven.
  5. Roast the hens for 50 to 55 minutes or until an instant read thermometer registers 165°F in the thickest part.
  6. Remove the pan from the oven and cover it with aluminum foil. Rest the hens for 10 minutes. You can carve them for serving or serve them whole. If you are serving four, you can also slice them in half for serving,



If your hens are frozen, thaw them at least 24 hours in advance before roasting them. You can keep them in the packages and thaw them in a baking dish in the refrigerator.

The size of hens can vary so the nutrition information is not included in this recipe. 

Keywords: how to cook cornish hens, roasted cornish hens