This bacon-wrapped maple baked cornish game hen recipe is an easy dinner that only has three ingredients! Easy and delicious, this cornish hen recipe is guaranteed to become a family favorite!
Are you still wondering what to make for your holiday dinner?
If you don’t need a large turkey, why not consider baking a cornish hen for your holiday dinner? I guarantee it will turn out as moist and flavorful as a turkey! (And a bonus, you can easily cook two game hens in your oven at the same time!)
There are many recipes for Cornish game hens, but this one is wrapped in bacon, making it hard to resist.
If you are looking for more delicious dinner recipes, check out all of my gluten free dinner recipes!
What is a Cornish Game Hen?
A Cornish game hen is a hybrid of a chicken that is a lot smaller! These birds are sold whole in most grocery stores.
Our family is enjoying our first experience with cornish game hens. Have you tried baking one of these hens yet? They look like teeny, tiny little chickens, and they have just enough meat to fill up one adult or one very hungry growing teenager!
Why This Recipe is Great:
- I use only three simple ingredients: bacon, maple syrup, and Cornish game hens. It won’t get much easier than this. If you are entertaining for the holidays or looking for an easy dinner recipe, this is for you.
- This easy Cornish hen recipe is paleo, gluten free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, and free of the top 8 allergens! (*If you are feeding more of a crowd, try one of these Gluten Free Chicken dinner recipes!!)
- Everyone loves bacon, and the flavor cooks into the hens so well!
Usually, I hate when the house smells like what I cook, but I can forgive bacon the bacon smells. Bacon makes everything great, including my house :-). (I suspect our dog won’t agree…it probably made her very tempted to steal a game, hen!)
There is an added bonus to the smell of bacon cooking. It is quite magical. Did you know bacon smells make teenagers come out of their caves? (If you have teens, you know exactly what I mean!!)
If you love bacon as much as we do, check out all of my delicious gluten free recipes made with bacon!
My teens’ reactions were actually quite funny. I could hear their desk chairs move. Then doors opened…and I sprinted downstairs. They were so excited to try a Cornish game hen.
My son, the die-hard carnivore, ate a whole hen by himself! I hope you love this recipe as much as my family did :-).
How to Make Bacon-Wrapped Cornish Hens:
Step 1: Rub the game hens with natural maple syrup. You can use either Grade A or Grade B maple syrup. Next is wrapping these hens in bacon!
Step 2: Wrap the hens in bacon and bake for 50 minutes to one hour. Baking time will vary depending on the size of the Cornish hens.
Be sure your hens are completely thawed before baking! You can also cook these hens in your air fryer. See below for the many ways you can cook Cornish hens.
Ways to Cook a Cornish Hen:
- Marinate the hen and cook it on the grill.
- Stuff the hen with fresh oranges and stuffing, and bake it!
- Cook your hens in a slow cooker with fresh vegetables.
- If you have a smoker, try smoking your game, hens. Smoking adds a rich flavor that penetrates the whole hen!
- Roast them like in my Roasted Cornish Hens recipe.
- Try my Air Fryer Cornish Hens recipe if you love using your air fryer.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will keep fresh for up to 3 days. You can also freeze any leftovers in a freezer-safe container.
Cornish game hen’s cooking time is very similar to chicken. Make sure the internal temperature is 165º F when finished. Use a digital thermometer to verify the temperature.
Most bacon is gluten free. Always check the labels.
I like to use Applewood smoked bacon, but you can use any kind!
You can not use frozen Cornish hens in this recipe. The cooking time becomes too uneven, and you end up with a burnt hen and a raw inside.
You may also love this Ham Steak Dinner recipe.
Serve With These Cornish Game Hen Side Dishes:
- Mashed Rutabagas – These are creamy and delicious with cornish game hens.
- This tasty Christmas Rice is also nice!
- Bacon Ricotta Scalloped Potatoes – This is a winner if you love cheesy potatoes.
- My kid’s favorite Pan Fried Sweet Potatoes.
Bacon Wrapped Maple Cornish Game Hens
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- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 Cornish game hens thawed
- 8 slices bacon
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350º F.
- Remove the Cornish game hens from wrapping. Place in a pan.
- Drizzle maple syrup over the chicken.
- Wrap the raw bacon around the hens. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 30 minutes, or until the cornish game hens reach 165º F internal temperature.
- You can use grade A or B maple syrup. Be sure to use 100% real syrup and not imitation syrup.
- Be sure your Cornish hens are completely thawed before baking!!
- These Cornish hens will keep up to 3 days in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
Please know that every gluten free flour blend has a different starch to grain ratio. If you use a blend I didn’t test, you may need to adjust your moisture levels in your baked goods.
Nutritional information is an estimate provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the actual nutritional information with the products and brands you are using with your preferred nutritional calculator.
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