Easy Stuffed and Roasted Cornish Hens with Vegetables

If you’ve never made cornish hens before and you are looking for something smaller than a roast chicken, you should definitely start with this easy and basic recipe. It’s nothing fancy and even comes together in about an hour, serving two people or maybe a small dinner party. It pairs great with a side of veggies and mashed potatoes. No super-seasoning blends are required here, just some salt and pepper, and I use a poultry seasoning from Trader Joe’s.


Check out how to make the perfect Cornish hen below, it’s so much easier than you’d expect.

Gather the ingredients

The amount listed is for two hens, so if you are just roasting one, divide the ingredient amount in half. 

Celery sticks: Even if you don’t like celery, you should use it here, you won’t taste the strong celery taste, but will give the hen extra flavor.

Bell Pepper: Red

Onion: Yellow (not sweet) 

Oil: Olive oil is great for roasting, but you can also use oil that you like. 

Garlic: Brings out a nice aroma and flavor. 

Lemon: Just the juice from the lemon.

Basil: Use fresh basil, it compliments poultry well. 

Salt and pepper: For flavor and taste. 

Poultry seasoning: I use the one from Trader Joe’s that you can find here

What do I need to make this recipe?

  • 2 celery sticks
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • small handful fresh basil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning (I use 21 seasoning spice from Trader Joe’s)

cornish hens

How to make Stuffed Roasted Cornish Hens:

Preheat the oven to 350F and prepare a roasting pan with a rack.

Dice the celery and bell pepper. 

cornish hens

In a small bowl, combine basil, lemon juice, salt, black pepper, garlic, and a teaspoon of the poultry seasoning. Mix it well.

cornish hen

Drizzle extra virgin olive oil on the hen and spread it all around, then stuff the hens with chopped vegetables.

cornish hen recipe

Rub the seasoning mix all over the hens, then place them on top of the rack.

roasted cornish hens

Place in the oven and let the hen cook for about 1 hour 15 minutes. (cooking times may vary from the different oven, but it will be close to an hour for the hens since poultry cooks fairly quickly.)

I like to turn the oven settings to “broil” for the last 5 minutes of cooking to get the crispy skin and nice color.


Other Roasted Meat Recipes You May want to Try: 

Baked Chicken Wings From Scratch at Home

Montreal Baked Chicken

Oven-Baked Chicken

Equipment I Used

Stuffed Roasted Cornish Hens

Roasted Cornish Hens

Pair the roasted cornish hens with mashed potatoes, a fresh salad and you've got yourself a fancy dinner.
Prep Time 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 50 mins
Course dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 7
Calories 268 kcal


  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Baking sheet
  • bowl


  • 2 celery sticks diced
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • ½ yellow onion diced
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 smal handful fresh basil chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning I use 21 seasoning salt from Trader Joe’s
  • 2 cornish hens


  • Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare an oven sheet with rack.
  • Dice 2 celery sticks, 1 red bell pepper, and 1/2 onion.
    Stuffed Roasted Cornish Hens
  • In a bowl mix chopped fresh basil, juice of 1 lemon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, minced garlic clove, and 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning. (link at bottom for the trader joe’s seasoning.) Mix it well together.
    Stuffed Roasted Cornish Hens
  • Drizzle extra virgin olive oil on the hen and spread it all around.
  • Stuff hens with chopped vegetables.
    Stuffed Roasted Cornish Hens
  • Rub the seasoning mix all over the hens.
    Stuffed Roasted Cornish Hens
  • Place in the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes.
  • I broiled the last 5 minutes for the color.
    Stuffed Roasted Cornish Hens


Nutrition Facts
Roasted Cornish Hens
Amount Per Serving
Calories 268 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Fat 18g28%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 130mg43%
Sodium 247mg11%
Potassium 360mg10%
Carbohydrates 2g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 22g44%
Vitamin A 692IU14%
Vitamin C 23mg28%
Calcium 22mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword baked chicken, basil, bell pepper, celery, cornish hens, dinner, garlic, green onion, lemon, main course, olive oil, pepper, salt, seasoning salt
Tried this recipe?Let us know in the comments how it was!
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  1. This roast hen looks so delicious with the seasoning and chopped veg.
    PS- I don’t like turkey

  2. I have my hens in the oven now! Hope it’s flavorful.

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