Marinated Cornish Game Hens recipe is easy to prepare ahead off time, in a delicious ginger-soy sauce. Delicious served at a holiday dinner party!

baked cornish game hen on white plate

Being prepared for entertaining is really what makes a get-together successful, which is why I LOVE this Marinated Cornish Game Hens Recipe. This is a great recipe to make for fall and winter dinner parties! Or, try my Grilled Cornish Game Hens!

Marinated Cornish Game Hens Recipe

If you’ve never split a cornish game hen, watch the video below. It’s really easy!

And the marinade? SO GOOD!

baked cornish game hen served with salad

Know what to cook

When I’m not prepared, I’m scattered, frustrated, and grumpy. Who wants to be around a grumpy hostess? (My family for sure does not).

Part of being prepared is not only knowing what you are going to cook, but making sure that it’s easy and dinner-party worthy. This recipe is fabulous served with my Potato-Fennel Gratin Recipe!

How to make Marinated Cornish Game Hens

This Cornish Game Hens recipe is great for dinner parties. Here’s why:

  1. 24 hours ahead of time, marinate the Cornish Game Hens (super easy steps)
  2. 1 hour before company comes, pop in the oven.
  3. Baste the hens every 15 minutes.

Basting is a great job to give your kids … have you ever tried that?

Marinated Cornish Game Hens Recipe

Making the marinade

There are 2 ways you can make the marinade.

  1. Blend it completely into a red sauce.
  2. Just mix ingredients together (more chunky), and do not blend.

I’ve made it both ways– delicious!

a half cornish game hen served with salad

Here’s my list of tips that help me get prepared and stay on track for a dinner party.

Be prepared:

-Choose a main dish that you can prepare ahead of time, that takes very little of your time the day of the dinner. (You marinate this recipe ahead of time, up to 24-36 hours.)

-Get your shopping done 1-2 days ahead of time.

-Make a list and cross things off as you complete them.

-Make a list of what items need to go in the oven, with a time frame.

-Tell yourself you are not going to run to the store. Use what you have; fight the “perfectionism” inside of you.

-Know what your guests are bringing. KNOW YOUR MENU. Write it out and place it on the refrigerator so you can keep checking it.

-Have any condiments, butter, or extra food items you’ll need, in dishes, ready to put on the table.

-Get prep work done ahead of time.

-Count backwards and plan out your time for what needs to be done at certain times.

-Know in advance what you want to wear.

-Use my 10-minute Countdown Method.

I made these hens on Christmas Day and our entire family loved them. The flavor is … well, you decide. Fantastic!

All I know is that I was asked over and over to make them again!

More recipes: Cranberry BBQ Sauce Cornish Hens [Nutmeg Nanny], Coca Cola Glazed Cornish Hens [Grandbaby Cakes].

baked cornish game hen on white plate
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Marinated Cornish Game Hens Recipe

Delicious recipe good enough for company! Be sure to double the sauce ingredients for every 2 hens you cook.


  • 2 game hens split in half
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves sliced
  • 2 TBS toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 TBS brown sugar
  • 3 TBS lime juice


  • Lay hens skin side down in glass dish. Prick each several times with a fork. In blender or food processor, blend all above ingredients until smooth, about 1 minute.
  • Place hens in a ziplock bag (you can double bag), pour marinade over, seal bag and refrigerate 6-24 hrs, turning occasionally.
  • Transfer hens to a 9×13 baking dish, single layer, skin side up. Reserve marinade.
  • Roast at 400 for 1 hour. Baste with marinade every 15 minutes.
  • Serve right away!


Did you make this recipe?Tag @reluctantentertainer on Instagram and hashtag it #reluctantentertainer!


a delicious baked cornish game hen

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