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Herbed Cornish Hens Recipe
Herbed Cornish Hens Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Herbed Cornish Hens Recipe

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The refreshing sauce Mom makes with thyme, lemon juice and butter gives these hens savory flavor throughout. The seasonings in this recipe also work great on a whole roasted chicken. Either way, the result is a mouthwatering feast.—Maria Costello, Monroe, North Carolina
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 1 hour
MAKES:6 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 1 hour
MAKES: 6 servings


  • 6 Cornish game hens (20 to 24 ounces each)
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried thyme, divided
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons seasoned salt, divided
  • 1-1/8 teaspoons garlic powder, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper


  1. Place the hens on a wire rack in a large roasting pan. In a bowl, combine lemon juice, butter, paprika and 1 teaspoon each of thyme, seasoned salt and garlic powder. Pour half over the hens; set the remaining mixture aside for basting. Combine salt, pepper and remaining thyme, seasoned salt and garlic powder; sprinkle over hens. Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 30 minutes. Baste with reserved lemon juice mixture. Bake 30 minutes longer, basting occasionally, or until the meat is tender and juices run clear. Yield: 6 servings.
Originally published as Herbed Cornish Hens in Taste of Home April/May 1998, p35

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Reviewed Mar. 4, 2013

"Chicken was very tender moist. Didn't have a great deal of flavor over that."

Reviewed Apr. 15, 2012

"I use this on chicken too."

Reviewed Aug. 27, 2010

"This dish was great. It didn't come out as golden as I had hoped but it tasted great. It was my first time making Cornish Hens and I used my own rice stuffing made with Turkey sausage, green peppers, onions and chicken broth."

Reviewed Jul. 27, 2010

"This was my and my husband's first experience with cornish hens, and they were fabulous! The herbs were absolutely wonderful, and the lemon juice was a fabulous background taste. Definitely a keeper!"

Reviewed Apr. 28, 2010

"Simple, and a very tasty basting sauce!"

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