Grilled Cornish Game Hens

Grilled Cornish Game Hens

Susie Cushner / Getty Images

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 75 mins
Servings: 2 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
2115 Calories
160g Fat
10g Carbs
153g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 2115
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 160g 205%
Saturated Fat 40g 198%
Cholesterol 891mg 297%
Sodium 2780mg 121%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 153g
Vitamin C 14mg 71%
Calcium 152mg 12%
Iron 8mg 42%
Potassium 1836mg 39%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Marinate these Cornish game hens overnight then put them on the grill and you will have the best game hens you've ever tried. You can even place them on a rotisserie over the grill.


  • 2 (1- to 1 1/2-pound) Cornish game hens

For the Marinade:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil

  • 1/2 cup lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 2 teaspoons onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 4 sprigsfresh rosemary, soaked in water 30 minutes

Steps to Make It

  1. Split Cornish game hens lengthwise. Rinse hen halves; pat dry with a paper towel.

  2. For marinade, in a medium plastic or glass bowl combine all remaining ingredients, except rosemary. Divide marinade in half, reserving half of the mixture to baste hens during the cooking process. 

  3. Place hens in a large plastic bag. Pour half of the marinade over the hens. Release excess air from bag and seal. Place into refrigerator and allow hens to marinate for 3 to 8 hours. 

  4. Preheat grill. Just before grilling, add rosemary sprigs to the coals or place in a smoker box.

  5. Remove hens from marinade and place, skin side up, on grill rack. Discard marinade. Cover grill and cook for 45 minutes or until hens test done (an internal temperature of 165 F), basting with reserved half of marinade for the first 30 to 35 minutes of cook time.

  6. Once hens are cooked through, remove from heat and serve with your favorite sides.