Grilled Cornish Hens

We will butterfly these grilled Cornish hens and then marinate them with a rub for a couple hours. Then we will place them on the grill for about 20 minutes.

Cornish hens are inexpensive and are a lot of fun to eat. Kids love them because they are so small. The rub on these makes them extremely tasty.

By butterflying them we are going to make them flat and this is why they will cook fairly quickly.

This recipe calls for six Cornish hens but you can certainly make as many as you want. If you want to make less hens go ahead and adjust the seasoning. Or make it all and keep it in a sealed bag in a cool, dark place for up to 3 months. Calculate 1 hen for 2 people.

This is what you will need for these wonderful, delicious grilled Cornish hens:

Serves twelve
6 Cornish hens
2 TBS coarse salt
1 TBS black pepper
1 TBS smoked paprika
½ TBS thyme
½ TBS garlic powder

Rinse and pat dry your hens. Butterfly them by running some sharp kitchen shears along the backbone and removing it. Crack the breast bone and flatten them.

Mix all of the spices in a bowl. Rub the hens well and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Light your grill. If using a gas grill, turn half of it off. If using a charcoal grill, scoop the hot coals to one side. Place the hens on the unlit – or side with no coals – belly side down. Sear them for about 10 minutes and flip them. Finish cooking them for another 10 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

Print the Grilled Cornish Hens Recipe Here

My name is Mary Ann Allen and I am here to help you get organized so you can save money on groceries and feed your family healthy, nutritious food. My multi-cultural cooking background comes from being born in the US and raised in Bolivia. I have 5 kids and own around 400 cook books. I absolutely love to cook!


  • February 20, 2011


    I Judy found your website and I am soo super excited!!! I have been spending hours on here looking through your stuff. Let me tell you my mouth has been watering like crazy. Anyway I can’t seem to open the recipe for the Cornish hens. I was wondering if you could email it to me? Would be much appreciated.
    Karalee 🙂

  • February 20, 2011


    Hi Karalee!
    Thank you so much for coming by! I am sorry about this link and the chipotle infused sweet potato one. I recently upgraded the website and some links are broken. Thanks for pointing them out to me. I will happily email you these recipes. Take care!
    Mary Ann