Skip to Content

Air Fryer Cornish Hens

In search of a fancy dinner idea that you can whip up even on busy weeknights? These air fryer cornish hens are exactly what you have been looking for! 

You don’t have to prepare a bunch of ingredients or put in a ton of time and effort in the kitchen to whip up an impressive dinner that the family will love. This recipe for cornish hens only calls for four ingredients and about five minutes of prep time!

If you have an air fryer, this is the perfect time to make the most out of it by trying this quick and easy cornish hens recipe. With the help of this amazing kitchen gadget, these deliciously juicy and crispy cornish hens are ready to serve at the dinner table in just about 45 minutes. 

This post contains links for items to purchase. I make a commission on any sales.

Pin showing Air Fryer Cornish Hens Recipe

How long does it take for a Cornish hen to cook in an air fryer?

Cornish game hens also known as miniature chickens are way smaller than regular chickens. These chickens are harvested when young and weigh roughly one to two pounds each. They have more white meat than dark meat and have less fat as well.

Because of their size, cornish game hens need less than an hour to cook and about 40 minutes only when using an air fryer. 

If you need to serve them immediately, you can also cut them in half for a shorter cooking time. 

However, since cornish hens are sold frozen, keep in mind that you still have to thaw them before cooking. Cornish game hens will thaw quicker than chicken but they share the same thawing methods. If you want to learn more about how to properly and quickly thaw chicken check out this post

Air Fryer Cornish Hens Featured Image

How do you get crispy skin on a Cornish hen in the air fryer?

The best way to ensure that your cornish hens will have crispy skin is to pat them dry thoroughly after thawing. This step will help remove the excess water or moisture in the hens that can affect their crispiness.

Another way is to use butter or oil. Coating the hens in butter or oil will make their skin crisp without drying them out. In fact, this air fryer cornish hens recipe uses butter for a more delicious, and crispy result. 

These two simple cooking techniques can help you achieve crisp and perfectly golden brown cornish hens. But aside from their delectable skin, you also have to make sure that the meat is tender and well cooked. 

Always use an instant read thermometer to ensure that your chicken reaches a safe internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). 

Air Fryer Cornish Hens Supplies and Ingredients

This air fryer cornish hens recipe only needs four simple and easy to find ingredients. You will need cornish game hens, butter, seasoning salt, and garlic and herb seasoning.

Plus, thanks to the air fryer, you can whip up this impressive and holiday dinner worthy dish without any fuss or mess. 

Aside from an air fryer, you will also need to have a basting brush, butter flavor cooking spray, and a chopping board so you can easily prep and cook these delicious air fryer cornish hens.

What are you waiting for?! Break out the air fryer and whip this cornish hens recipe today! Let’s go!

Air Fryer Cornish Hens Recipe

Once you have your ingredients, coat the hens in butter. The more…the better!

Sprinkle with seasoning salt and garlic and herb seasoning to taste.

Spray the air fryer rack with cooking spray and place the hens in the air fryer.

Cook the hens at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.

Check for doneness. Serve and enjoy!

Looking for more delicious recipes to try?

It’s undeniable that this simple cornish hen recipe is flavorful and perfect for one of your weekly meals. If you’ve fallen in love with this air fryer cornish hens and want to discover more cornish hens recipes, you should also check out this list of 25 Recipes for Cornish Game Hens for sure!

On the other hand, if you want to make the most out of your air fryer and you are searching for more easy air fryer recipes, I’ve got you covered. From appetizers to main and side dishes, and even snacks and desserts, you can whip them all up in your air fryer quickly and easily! Here are some of the best air fryer recipes you can check out: 

Yield: 2-4

Air Fryer Cornish Hens

Air Fryer Cornish Hens

MAke these cornish hens in your air fryer! It's super easy and not very messy.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • Cornish Game Hens
  • 1/2 Stick Melted Butter
  • Seasoning Salt
  • Garlic & Herb Seasoning
  • Cooking Spray


    1. Coat the hens in butter. The more the better!
    2. Sprinkle with seasoning salt & garlic & herb seasoning to taste.
    3. Spray the air fryer rack with cooking spray and place the hens in the air fryer.
    4. Cook the hens at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.
    5. Serve & enjoy! 

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 542Total Fat 47gSaturated Fat 21gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 22gCholesterol 229mgSodium 646mgCarbohydrates 1gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 29g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Skip to Recipe