Enjoy Grilled Cornish Game Hens any time of year for a family or holiday meal! Marinate ahead of time for a delicious main dish. 

Grilled Cornish Game Hens

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Friends, we had one of our favorite grilling moments this past weekend, serving these Grilled Cornish Game Hens to our guests. Kingsford Original Charcoal made it super easy, as we buzzed in to our local Home Depot to pick up a bag of charcoal.

Bringing people together for the holidays is so special. And it’s even more special when you have a delicious menu planned with no-fuss cooking!

woman holding a platter of cornish game hens

How to marinate Cornish game hens

What I love about this recipe today is that it’s way less complicated than brining and cooking or roasting a turkey. I certainly enjoy turkey, but let’s be honest–sometimes it’s fun to change things up!

With this simple marinade, you can prepare these Cornish game hens a couple days in advance, and pop on the grill right before guests arrive.

In a medium bowl, mix the marinade ingredients together.

Grilled Cornish Game Hens - preparing

Rinse and dry each hen, cutting in half. Place in a baking pan (or you can use a plastic Ziploc bag). Pour the marinade over the top and cover (or seal the bag).

Grilled Cornish Game Hens - marinating

Love this option: You can marinate for 4 hours, OR you can make these up 2 days in advance. I love to plan ahead, so this method is super easy and I can check it off my list.

Grilled Cornish Game Hens - on the grill

Then it’s on to the side dishes … :)

Easy Grilled Cornish Game Hens

How to grill Cornish game hens

As mentioned, we took a short trip to town to pick up our Kingsford Charcoal Briquettes, an 18.6 lbs 2-Pack from Home Depot.

Kingsford - grilling

On our front deck, we got the coals nice and hot, and in less than 30 minutes, the hens were cooked to perfection.

Grilled Cornish Game Hens - hot coals

Side dishes that pair well with Grilled Cornish Game Hens

Now the side dishes are fantastic too, so today I’m sharing a few of our family’s favorites that pair well with these Grilled Cornish Game Hens.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Caramelized Onions, Brie and Sage

Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad

Grilled Stuffed Dates (recipe coming soon)

Classic Green Bean Casserole 

Easy Pear Bites

Pumpkin Gingersnap Crunch Parfaits

Grilled Cornish Game Hens - dinner

Grilled Cornish Game Hens

Oh, and the most beautiful part about Cornish game hens? Look how beautifully you can plate them, with fresh herbs (sage) and citrus.

Grilled Cornish Game Hens - set the table

Usually this feast would feel like sheer gluttony, but game hens are a game changer!


Grilled Cornish Game Hens - halves

The holidays have never looked and tasted so good!

platter of grilled cornish game hens

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Get the Recipe:

Grilled Cornish Game Hens

Delicious, moist grilled Cornish Game Hens!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 24 minutes
Marinating Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 34 minutes
Yield: 8
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  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. squeeze garlic, or 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. celery salt
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 1 1/2 pound Cornish game hens, rinsed and dried (with paper towels), cut in half
  • Garnish: fresh sage leaves, 2 small apples and 2 small clementines, cut in half
Cuisine: American
Course: Main Course
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This post is in partnership with The Home Depot and Kingsford Original Charcoal. I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with me to participate in the promotional program described above (the “Program”). As a part of the Program, I am receiving compensation in the form of products and services, for the purpose of promoting The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.