Easy Air Fryer Cornish Hen Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Learn more

Get ready for a flavor explosion with our Cornish Hen Air Fryer recipe! These succulent hens are seasoned with savory herb butter, air-fried until golden and crispy, and served with rich poultry gravy. It’s a dish that’ll have you clucking for joy! 🍗😋 Fry it to believe it!

Air Fryer Cornish Hen, recipe bite-shot, served on white plate
Air Fryer Cornish Hen, recipe bite-shot, served on white plate

Notes: We are currently in the development and testing stage for this Air Fryer Cornish Hens recipe. Stay tuned for more updates. If you have any tips on making this dish even better, please leave us a comment below. We appreciate your input!

Happy frying!

Here’s a video of a similar recipe that we’re going for.

Ingredients for Air Fryer Cornish Hen

Here are all you need to make easy air fried Cornish hen.

  • Cornish hens
  • Unsalted butter
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Fresh thyme
  • Garlic cloves
  • Salt and pepper
  • Poultry gravy mix

📣 You can find the exact measurements and adjust the number of servings in the recipe card down below.


You can make your own gravy if you want a better option than the ready-made. It’s just that we’re going for the easy route for this recipe. However, if you like us to make a gravy recipe for Cornish game hens, please leave a note below.

Anyway, for fresh ingredients, you can substitute them for their dried counterparts. It’ll save you time, no doubt. Here are the ratios:

  • 2 tsp minced rosemary: ⅔ tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp minced thyme: ¾ tsp dried thyme
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic: ¼ tsp garlic powder

How to Cook Cornish hen in an Air Fryer?

Cooking Cornish Hens is an absolute breeze! Follow these simple steps, and you’ll have a delicious and impressive meal ready to serve in no time.

1. Prepare the ingredients.

First, let’s whip up the star of the show – the herb butter! 

Combine the room-temperature butter, minced rosemary, minced thyme, crushed garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Mix everything together until you have a fragrant and flavorful buttery blend.

2. Preheat your air fryer to 380ºF (193ºC).

Preating Instant Pot Vortex Plus Air Fryer to 380°F (193°C).

If your air fryer doesn’t have a preheating option, set your desired temperature then let it cook for 5 minutes without food.

🚨 Important: Reduce the cooking temperature to 380°F (193°C) if you’re using a 4-quart air fryer or smaller. They are hotter due to the heating element being closer to the food.

3. Season the Cornish hens

Pat your Cornish hens dry with paper towels. This removes excess moisture and ensures the skin crisps up beautifully during cooking.

Carefully loosen each hen’s skin for an added flavor burst, and gently spread the herb butter underneath. By doing this, the savory goodness seeps into the meat, infusing every bite with a mouthwatering taste.

Don’t let any of that delicious herb butter go to waste! Rub any remaining butter over the hens’ skin.

4. Air Fry the Cornish hens for 30 – 35 minutes at 380ºF (193ºC).

It’s time to cook these hens to perfection in the air fryer.

Place the Cornish game hens in the air fryer, ensuring they’re not too crowded for proper air circulation. Set your air fryer to 380ºF (193ºC) and cook for 30 – 35 minutes. Remember to turn the hens halfway through for even browning.

Note: If your air fryer is too tiny for 2 hens, don’t force it; cook in batches. Otherwise, your hens won’t cook properly.

Here’s where the magic happens:

Every 10 minutes, use a turkey baster brush to generously coat them with the flavorful juices from the bottom of the air fryer basket. This extra layer of goodness infuses the meat with rich flavors and keeps it tender and juicy.

Pro tip: Tilt the air fryer basket slightly to pull the melted butter efficiently.

While the hens cook, the kitchen will be filled with the tantalizing aroma of perfectly roasted Cornish hens. It’s pure foodie bliss! 

After 30 – 35 minutes, check the internal temperature*, ensuring it reaches 165ºF (74ºC), so you can be sure your hens are fully cooked and ready to delight your taste buds. If not, increment by 3 minutes until the chickens are fully cooked. 

Let the hens rest for 5 minutes before serving. This brief resting time allows the flavors to meld together even more, creating a memorable meal.

*Cooking times vary depending on the chicken’s size and your air fryer’s specifications. Hens (pun intended), you should always check the internal temperature before serving.

5. Make the gravy.

While the hens cook, whip up a delectable poultry gravy to complement the dish. 

Follow the poultry gravy mix package instructions and have it ready to pour over your hens. 

The rich and savory gravy will take this meal to a new level of yum!

6. Serve & Enjoy!

air fried Cornish Hen, served on white plate

Your Air Fried Cornish Hen is ready to steal the spotlight on the dining table! Carefully transfer the hens to a serving platter, and drizzle the warm poultry gravy. 

Juicy meat and savory gravy will have everyone’s taste buds dancing joyfully!

Consider pairing this dish with some delightful sides to take it to the next level. Air Fried broccoli, mashed potatoes, or a fresh green salad make fantastic companions to this fabulous feast.

It’s time to gather around the table and enjoy your Cornish Hen Air Fryer creation. With this recipe, you’ll have everyone clucking for more! 🍗😋 Happy frying!

Freezing & Storage

Freezing: You can freeze any leftovers for 2 – 3 months. But, cut up the Cornish hens and let them cool to room temp. Finally, wrap them tightly in foil or plastic wrap and place them in an airtight container.

To reheat from frozen, let the hens thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then pop them back in the air fryer at 350ºF (175ºC) for 5 – 7 minutes until heated through.

Fridge: You can store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Place the Cornish hen leftovers in the air fryer to reheat, and cook for 5 – 7 minutes at 350ºF (175ºC).

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B01MCWS5C9&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=fi prorec 1 20&language=en US

Meat Thermometer

Hate the guesswork of cooking? Picture achieving perfect results every time, no second-guessing or stress. 😉 That’s the major benefit of an instant-read thermometer. So, ignite and simplify your cooking with a meat thermometer today!


How long to cook Cornish Hen in air fryer?

Cook Cornish Hen in the air fryer for 30 – 35 minutes at 380ºF (193ºC) until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF (74ºC). Turn the hens halfway through for even cooking and baste for extra flavor.

Can you cook a Cornish Hen in an air fryer?

Yes, you can cook your Cornish Hen in the air fryer following our simple recipe to achieve juicy, crispy, and flavorful results that will impress your guests.

How to cook Cornish Hen in an air fryer rotisserie?

Cook Cornish Hen rotisserie-style in an air fryer equipped with a rotisserie feature. Secure the hens on the skewer, cook at 380ºF (193ºC) for 30 – 35 minutes, basting occasionally for explosive deliciousness.

What temp to cook Cornish Hen in an air fryer?

Cook Cornish Hen at 380ºF (193ºC) in the air fryer for perfect results – crispy skin and tender meat, reaching an internal temperature of 165ºF (74ºC). Preheat the air fryer before cooking for the best outcome.

air fried Cornish Hen, served on white plate

Easy Air Fryer Cornish Hen

Get ready to indulge in the delightful flavors of Air Fryer Cornish Hen. These succulent hens are seasoned with savory herb butter, air-fried to perfection, and served with rich poultry gravy. A delicious dish that's easy to make in your air fryer!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 656 kcal


  • 2 Cornish hens
  • 1 stick unsalted butter room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme minced
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 package poultry gravy mix


  • Prepare the herb butter. Mix the butter, rosemary, thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl until well combined.
  • Preheat your air fryer to 380ºF (193ºC).
  • Season the Cornish game hens. Pat the hens dry with paper towels. Carefully loosen the skin on the breasts and thighs of each hen. Spread the herb butter under the skin of both hens, evenly distributing it for maximum flavor. Rub any remaining herb butter over the hens' skin for a beautiful, golden finish.
  • Air fry the Cornish hens. Place the Cornish hens in the air fryer. Cook at 380ºF (193ºC) for 30 – 35 minutes, turning them halfway through for even cooking. Ensure the internal temperature of the thickest part reaches 165ºF (74ºC). Using a turkey baster, baste the hens every 10 minutes.
  • Make the gravy. While the hens cook, prepare the poultry gravy according to the package instructions. Keep it warm until serving.
  • Serve and enjoy. Once the hens are done, transfer them to a serving platter. Pour the warm poultry gravy over the hens or serve it on the side. Pair this delightful Cornish Hen Air Fryer recipe with your favorite sides and savor the deliciousness!


  • Remember that cooking durations may differ depending on the hen’s thickness and your air fryer’s size and model. Before serving, ensure it has been cooked to a safe internal temperature of 165ºF (74ºC).
  • If your air fryer doesn’t have a preheating option, you can set the temperature to 380°F (193°C) and then let it cook for 4-5 minutes without food. 
  • You can skip preheating by adding 2-4 minutes to your cooking time. Increment gradually to prevent burning the Cornish game hens.
  • I used a 6-quart (air fryer) to test the Cornish hen. Cooking time and temperature may vary depending on your air fryer and the number of servings you are making. For optimal results, begin with the lower end of the suggested cooking time.


Calories: 656kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 54g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 20g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 288mg | Sodium: 723mg | Potassium: 551mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 0.04g | Vitamin A: 977IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 2mg
Keywords: air fryer cornish hen, cornish game hen air fryer

Share or save this recipe for later:

Have you tried making the air fryer Cornish hen recipe?

Leave us a note, and give this recipe a star rating. Good or bad, we appreciate your opinion. Let’s improve this air fryer recipe as a community!

Are you on Instagram? Share your photo and tag us at @fryitco. We can’t wait to see what you’ve made!

Or you can also subscribe to our Youtube Channel. We’re constantly uploading easy and tasty air fryer recipe videos, ASMR style.

You can also find us on Facebook & Tiktok 🙂. See you there!

Thank you for your support!

About The Author

Leave a note

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.