Herb-Crusted Cornish Game Hens

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Herb-Crusted Cornish Game Hens are the star of my Thanksgiving menu! I promise you, everyone will be blown away at the attention to detail, and the personal touches to their individual entrées.

2018 Thanksgiving Menu Guide - Blog-1

My goal with this dish is to utilize as much freshness as possible! So I stuff these Herb-Crusted Cornish Game Hens with orange and lemon segments, whole garlic cloves, and some small herb sprigs. Then I slather the outside of these babies with a rosemary and lemon thyme vegan butter.

Let me tell you…. THESE ARE SO YUMMY! And loaded with tons of glorious flavors.

Herb Crusted Cornish Game Hens - Blog-1

Ingredient Notes For These Cornish Game Hens:

  • Hens – Making sure the hens are completely dry is so crucial. To get them dry just pat them down with paper towels. Don’t skip this step or the herb butter won’t stick.
  • Miyoko’s Creamery ®European Style Cultured Vegan Butter – This butter is 100% crafted from plants. Plus it melts, spread, browns, bakes and tastes like butter. For me, this is a great alternative because it is lactose free, gluten-free and contains no dairy. I just love it!
  • Herbs – Another great alternative to using the fresh herbs I recommend, is to use my DIY Garden Herb Salt (So Versatile). It contains all the same ingredients and is just as delicious!

And please be sure to check out my full Thanksgiving Menu Guide (Easy, yet elegant).

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If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a star rating below so I know how you liked it. Thanks! Enjoy!

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Herb Crusted Cornish Game Hens - Blog-1

Herb-Crusted Cornish Game Hens

  • Author: Naomi
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x


Herb-Crusted Cornish Game Hens are the perfect date night dinner for two, an intimate Thanksgiving or Christmas lunch for four, or a festive Friendsgiving! These individual hens are rubbed with herbed vegan butter and roasted to golden brown perfection.


  • 2 Cornish Game Hens
  • 4 tbsp Miyoko’s Creamery® European Style Cultured Vegan Unsalted Butter, or butter of choice
  • 1 1/22 tbsp Fresh Rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 1/22 tbsp Fresh Lemon Thyme, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, peeled and left whole
  • 1/2 Navel Orange, divided
  • 1/2 Lemon, divided


  1. Prep: Preheat the oven to 350° degrees F. Dry the skin of the Cornish Hens by patting with paper towels. (Make sure to do this step thoroughly or the herb butter won’t stick as well). 
  2. Butter: To a small bowl, add the butter, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper and stir to combine.
  3. Rub: Brush or rub the mixture all over the hens – outside and underneath the skin. 
  4. Aromatics: Add 1/4 of an orange segment, 1/4 of an lemon segment, 2 garlic cloves, and a small sprig of rosemary and thyme to each of the hen cavities. Truss (tie the legs together) with the twine. 
  5. Roast: Place breast side up on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Roast, uncovered, for 1 hour or until juices run clear when the thickest part of the chicken is pierced with a meat thermometer and it reaches 165° degrees F. 
  6. Brown: To brown the skin, increase the temperature to 400° degrees F during the last 10 minutes. 


  • Herbs: Another great alternative, to using the fresh herbs I recommend, is to use my DIY Garden Herb Salt. It contains all the same ingredients and is just as delicious!
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Roast
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Chicken Recipes, Christmas, Cornish Hen, Dairy-Free Recipes, Date Night Recipes, Easy Chicken, Fall, Fresh Herbs, Gluten-Free Recipes, Holiday Recipes, Main Dish, Poultry, Roasted Chicken, Roasting, Thanksgiving

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