Overhead view of Cornish Game Hens on a white plate with fresh herbs and lemon slices surrounding them

Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Lemon & Sage

Cooking for a smaller group of people this Thanksgiving? Try these Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Lemon & Sage instead of turkey.

5 from 1 vote
Overhead view of Cornish Game Hens on a white plate with fresh herbs and lemon slices surrounding them
Print Recipe

Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Lemon & Sage

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Main Course
Servings: 4
Calories: 795kcal


  • 4 tablespoons (60 g) unsalted butter or dairy-free buttery spread, softened
  • 2 tablespoons (4 g) fresh sage, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 2 (1.5-pound/681-gram) Cornish game hens
  • Kosher or fine sea salt , to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper , to taste
  • 1 lemon , quartered
  • Extra-virgin olive oil , for greasing the pan


  • Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  • Mix the butter, sage, and garlic together in a small bowl.
  • Pat the game hens dry, then carefully separate the skin from the breast and spread some of the butter mixture underneath. Spread the remaining butter mixture on the outside of the hens, and generously season with salt and pepper. Place two lemon wedges in the cavity of each hen, then loosely tie the legs together with butcher’s twine.
  • Place the hens on a lightly oiled shallow roasting pan, then transfer to the oven. Roast for 20-25 minutes until the skin starts to brown.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and continue roasting for another 30-35 minutes, until the internal temperature of the hens reaches 170°F.
  • Transfer the hens to a cutting board, loosely tent with foil, and allow them to rest for 10 minutes before carving.


Nutrition Facts
Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Lemon & Sage
Amount Per Serving
Calories 795 Calories from Fat 531
% Daily Value*
Fat 59g91%
Saturated Fat 21g105%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 10g
Monounsaturated Fat 24g
Cholesterol 374mg125%
Sodium 210mg9%
Potassium 862mg25%
Carbohydrates 4g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 59g118%
Vitamin A 723IU14%
Vitamin C 16mg19%
Calcium 70mg7%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Disclaimer: All nutrition facts on Gluten Free & More are meant only as a guide and may differ depending on product brands used or ingredient substitutions. Some errors may occur, so you are encouraged to confirm the recipe’s ingredient and nutrition suitability for your own diet.
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Tags: Brian Kavanagh Cornish Game Hens Lemon Sage
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Sept/Oct 2023 Cover



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