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Herb-Stuffed Roasted Cornish Hens Recipe

Herb-Stuffed Roasted Cornish Hens Recipe

If you're looking to add a touch of elegance to your dinner table, we suggest these moist Cornish game hens. A blend of sage, lemon, onion and garlic give this entree outstanding flavor. —Taste of Home Cooking School
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 70 min. YIELD:2 servings


  • 2 Cornish game hens (20 to 24 ounces each)
  • 12 fresh sage leaves
  • 4 lemon wedges
  • 6 green onions, cut into 2-inch lengths, divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 6 small red potatoes, halved


  • 1. Preheat oven to 375°. Gently lift skin from hen breasts and place sage leaves under skin. Place lemon wedges and a third of the onions in the cavities. Tuck wings under hens; tie legs together. Place in a small greased roasting pan.
  • 2. Combine butter, oil, lemon juice and garlic; spoon half of mixture over hens. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • 3. Bake 30 minutes. Add potatoes and remaining onions to pan. Brush hens with remaining butter mixture. Bake 40-45 minutes longer or until a thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh reads 170°-175° and potatoes are tender.
  • 4. Remove hens to a serving platter. Stir potatoes and onions to coat with pan drippings. Serve with hens. Yield: 2 servings.

Reviews for Herb-Stuffed Roasted Cornish Hens

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2124arizona User ID: 845443 265742
Reviewed May. 8, 2017

"A big hit for the Christmas dinner!! Everyone loved them!!"

NanetteJarrett User ID: 8392074 227060
Reviewed May. 27, 2015

"This is a terrific recipe! Instead of using the red potatoes, I made a batch of sage stuffing. I put it around the hens and baked them just like they said to bake the red potatoes. It was awesome!"

bnrtaylor23 User ID: 7685971 95866
Reviewed Feb. 22, 2014


wandnapper User ID: 5722330 95865
Reviewed Jan. 1, 2012

"I am not allowed stuffing or rice so this was an excellent alternative. I cooked it my Nuwave oven and it came out great."

jensenal User ID: 4378696 97788
Reviewed Dec. 13, 2011

"To all those "commonsense is required"!!! cooks out there, you "KNOW how much your family can or cannot eat at a meal. So fix as many birds your family needs. If you use "commonsense is required" and eat portions that are healthy for you eat and enjoy sensibly.This goes to "Maiden Fair" you just as well take all the meat off the bones and feed it to the dog and eat the bones if you are that concerned about how the bird is prepared. jensenal"

helenjo User ID: 2421610 164342
Reviewed Dec. 12, 2011

"Hal47, You are right. Don't eat it. Get real, my family portion is Half a Cornish Hen ea. They put aside what they won't eat. They're sure to finish it off later. Heavens sakes it Christmas. You can heat up a lean Cuisine!!!!!!"

MomJoyx3 User ID: 3867794 104085
Reviewed Dec. 12, 2011

"These were very good. To the previous poster who is alarmed at the calorie count...DON'T MAKE IT THEN! I have to watch my calorie intake so I just used olive oil on mine and removed the skin upon eating. Even without the skin, it was delicious (I never eat the skin on chicken either, just a personal preference). But my husband, son and daughters ate it as is and loved it. Making them again on Christmas Eve. Thank you for the recipe!"

WandaHayter User ID: 3293437 97785
Reviewed Dec. 12, 2011

"Cornish game hens are excellent and there are so many ways to season them. They also make your dinner seem so very Special .... and it is. The Fresh Market has this Italian Seasoning that is so wonderful (and great on so many different things too ... pork, steaks, hamburgers). I also infuse my olive oil with different herbs and it makes a world of difference. Sweet Basil, garlic, rosemary. Bottles of infused olive oil makes a reall nice gift to those you know enjoy cooking and cooking well.

You can also infuse your butter with garlic by just flattening the garlic and micro on reduced heat until you hear the garlic popping. Once you try this you will use this often. (like in garlic mashed potatoes.)
Enjoy !!!"

SDD516 User ID: 6255013 104084
Reviewed Dec. 12, 2011

"This recipe sounds so good! I may try it for Christ"

Maiden Faire User ID: 5247517 165855
Reviewed Dec. 12, 2011

"I must agree with the previous users, commonsense is required. The recipe states that it yields 2-4 servings. Hello, that would mean a person would have either one or half of one of the hens. The nutritional amount listed would be for those individuals who would eat one entire hen. As for my family, we too feed four people with one hen. We love cornish game hens, and use lemon and sage in a large number of our recipes. We also only use real butter. We fully believe that natural products are better for us than man-made artificial ones. My college biology teacher warned us of the dangers of transfat in 1990. Just because an item says 0 transfat, you can't believe it. The FDA allows manufacturers to list 0 if a serving has .5 grams or less per serving. Read labels people.

If you are concerned about the calories, make adaptations. Use less butter, or if you are one of those individuals that believes in the merits of margarine, then use that. You can use no butter or margarine at all, and make a vinaigrette out of the lemon and herbs to baste the hens with. Use less salt. Sea salt has much more flavor than table salt, therefore you automatically need to use less. After cooked, remove the skin from the hens and discard it. I wouldn't due it prior to cooking because the bird would be to dry. Instead of potatoes which are a natural starchy food, roast vegetables such as asparagus or brussel sprouts; or add various squashes. Whatever suits your tastes. Remember, none of these recipes are carved in granite. Use them as a foundation and then adapt. Personally, we don't roast the hens. We cook them on the rotisserie and baste them. We also add a bit of rubbed sage into the butter mixture as well as the cavity of the bird. We love it. Trial and error is how all recipes were developed over time as we learned about new foods. There are still so many wonderful flavor combinations out there to discover. When you discover your signature dish, please share with us all. We all have that gift down inside of us.
Danny Kaye once said: If you're not cooking with joy, happiness and love, you're not cooking well.
May we all "cook well"."

hal47 User ID: 1058650 97780
Reviewed Dec. 11, 2011

"This a great dish just as written! If someone (and you know who you are) isnt smart enough to read sodium amounts then dont make it or eat it. Some people never learn if you cant say something good then say nothing!"

stjohnisle User ID: 3228356 95850
Reviewed Dec. 11, 2011

"Growing up my mom always made Cornish Hens for Christmas. I have carried on the tradition and these were a wondeful treat when I made them last year. I am definitely going to make them again this year and my daughters are now grown and now making them, too!"

3pearlrose User ID: 6385631 178552
Reviewed Dec. 11, 2011

"I found what I am making for Christmas!!!

Thank You!"

trekker975 User ID: 3510278 95849
Reviewed Dec. 11, 2011

"Wonderful!!! Very tasty and one hen fed two of us. This is a great dish that works out so well. I added some colorful bell peppers to the potatos as my husband not like green was wonderful! The pesentation was even prettier (hoilday colors?)"

toothfairylin User ID: 1460753 97778
Reviewed Dec. 11, 2011

"Totally agree with grammadi323 and cactus lady! These were delicious! I have said this before: I am disgusted with the "reviewers" who put down someone's recipe because of their own "better than thou" standards. "Reviewers" is intentionally in parentheses because these people never try the recipes, they can only make disparaging remarks. I do ASSURE you that once in awhile, eating a tasty, calorie/sodium/or fat laden "dish" will NOT kill you. If you can recognize that perhaps it is not healthy, enough to make a comment on it, than I would ASSUME you would know how to make it suit your needs. I really wish TOH WOULD NOT let you naysayers comment on a recipe unless you have tried it and perhaps listed what YOU did to make it healthier!!!! So thank you, TOH, for giving some of us a new recipe to try. LOVE TOH!"

cactuslady User ID: 1762767 161156
Reviewed Dec. 11, 2011

"AMEN!! grammadi!! Portion control is all that's needed to cut down the number of calories, and fat grams. Obviously, we all know how to read. If the calories and fat grams bother you, don't make the recipe, it isn't necessary to point those things out to the rest of us...we can read, too. This recipe was family of 4 ate one do the math."

grammadi323 User ID: 4618440 179627
Reviewed Dec. 11, 2011

"I am stunned when people cannot make the recipe work for their needs... the calorie count is up to YOUR portions and YOU are in control of that!!

it's Christmas...not the other 364 days.... we can be smarter then... for now... enjoy these lovely little morsels!"

Susie77 User ID: 98373 119869
Reviewed Dec. 11, 2011

"The recipe looks delicious but the calorie count is pretty alarming. What constitutes a serving -- an entire hen plus 3 of the 6 potatoes?"

azlady56 User ID: 1183001 182626
Reviewed Dec. 11, 2011

"So yummy, am going to share with family and friends.. Thanks"

MysteryLover User ID: 3562835 182624
Reviewed Mar. 5, 2009

"Absolutely delish!"

hillcountry User ID: 3596970 110663
Reviewed Dec. 11, 2008

"I am going to try this it sounds healthy and good. I always serve turkey and Oyster dressing.

MERRY Christmas

mamabear53 User ID: 2354962 164340
Reviewed Dec. 8, 2008

"I usually have cornish hens with oyster dressing for Christmas, but I may try this for at least a couple of them .

Thanks for the recipe.

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