Cornish hens on a white plate with lemons - Christmas main dishes

Classic Cornish Hens

Course: Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cornish hen recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 1309 kcal
Classic Cornish Hens are perfect for holiday parties! Basted with a zesty butter sauce and ready in under 1 hour. Your family will LOVE them!


  • 4 Cornish hens
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Almond rice


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Using poultry shears, cut Cornish hens in half symmetrically. Season well with salt and pepper and place meat side up on two baking dishes or rimmed baking sheets. Place in oven.
  3. In a small sauce pan, melt butter with hot sauce and lemon juice.
  4. Continue to cook Cornish hens, basting with butter mixture every 10 minutes. Cook for 35-40 minutes, or until temperature in thigh reaches 165 degrees and juices run clear.
  5. Bring remaining butter to a low simmer while Cornish hens rest for 5 minutes.
  6. Plate over Almond Rice and drizzle with remaining butter.
  7. If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was! 

Nutrition Facts
Classic Cornish Hens
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1309 Calories from Fat 981
% Daily Value*
Fat 109g168%
Saturated Fat 46g288%
Cholesterol 576mg192%
Sodium 851mg37%
Potassium 1084mg31%
Protein 77g154%
Vitamin A 1905IU38%
Vitamin C 10mg12%
Calcium 63mg6%
Iron 3.5mg19%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.