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Air fryer Cornish hen (with crispy skin!)

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Delicious juicy Cornish hen in your air fryer, the best recipe for crispy skin and fantastic flavor!

For weight watchers points: myWW green plan 5 points, blue plan 5 points, purple 5 points ( all calculations are done by adding ingredients to Weight watchers app calculator). Points are per serving.

air fryer whole cornish hen

What is a cornish hen?

Cornish hen is a little, miniature chicken. Most grocery stores will have this bird in the freezer section, at least that’s where i usually buy it from. There is no difference between the taste of a chicken and a cornish game hen. Cornish hens are an ideal dinner to serve for a special occasion, they look different and a bit festive.

We love to cook them on weekdays too. I just cook one ans split it between by kids, that’s enough to feed them and make their bellies full. For an adult, i would recommend the whole cornish hen, or even two.

How to cook this bird in Air fryer

This must be the easiest recipe i ever made, not only in the air fryer, but ever. I like to buy cornish hens in butches in Costco, my local Costco sells it in packs of six for a very good price!

So, whats is so amazing about cooking Cornish hen in the Air Fryer? Check out the steps and instructions below:

Step1. Preheat AF to 390F. While its heating up we will have time to prepare the hen.

Ste2. Rub the bird with your favorite spices (or make it simple like i did). I only used salt, pepper and paprika, smoked will be great!

Step3. Place Cornish hen in the AF basket and wait for about 25 minutes. You may notice that you kitchen will get filld with amazing smell!

Step4. Turn half way through . This step is completely optional, because the skin will get crispy everywhere anyways. I do this just in case.

Thats it! Crispy, juicy and absolutely delicious Cornish hen is ready! Add your favorite side dish or a simple veggie salad and enjoy your dinner.

Love that color? That is exactly what you will get after you follow my recipe. So deliciously crispy and browned very well.

air fryer roasted cornish hen

Make sure to check on this must have Air Fryer Accessories. This post has lots of helpful devices to make your cooking better and easier.

What to do with cornish hen leftovers?

Just like with the chicken , you can store cornish hen in the fridge for up to 3 days, then simply reheat it in the air fryer at 400 degrees for 1-2 minutes. If you need to freeze it, make sure to use an air tight container to prevent a freezer burn. Freezer for up to 3 months.

What to serve with Air fryer cornish hen

I have more delicious air fryer recipes to try

  1. Whole chicken in air fryer
  2. Air fryer hamburger
  3. Air Fryer tilapia-restaurant quality!
  4. Hot dogs
  5. Fried Oreos – kids favorite!
  6. Best Air fryer Steak
  7. Air Fryer Grilled cheese -that whats we eat for breakfast
  8. If you are interested in more recipes , you can find them in my best air fryer recipes page

Check my fullest AIR FRYER COOKING CHART! Learn cooking time for every dish!

Print Recipe
4.83 from 35 votes

Air Fryer Cornish hen

Delicious juicy Cornish hen in your air fryer, the best recipe for crispy skin and fantastic flavor!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: air fryer
Servings: 3 servings
Calories: 300kcal



  • Rub Cornish hen with spices . Spray Air fryer basket with olive or coconut oil spray.
  • Place Cornish hen in to your Air fryer ( 390F for 25 minutes). Turn half way through.
  • Carefully take it out and serve



For weight watchers points: myWW green plan 5 points, blue plan 5 points, purple 5 points ( all calculations are done by adding ingredients to Weight watchers app calculator). Points are per serving.

Tools used in this recipe

Air fryer
Air fryer liners
Meat thermometer


Calories: 300kcal | Protein: 25g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 151mg | Sodium: 91mg | Potassium: 354mg | Vitamin A: 160IU | Vitamin C: 0.7mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1.2mg

Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators.

Tried this recipe?Follow me at @Myberrymaple and tag #berrymaple!
Caldo de Pollo
Pork Internal Temperature
Recipe Rating

Karla Long

Tuesday 13th of April 2021

We love game hens and this method of cooking them will change your life. Following this recipe will produce the crispiest outside and juciest meated hen ever. I cook one for the two of us, cutting completely down the backbone and the breast bone once it is done cooking. We love how these turn out so much we are eating them much more often than previously. I have passed this recipe on to everyone I know.

Tatiana Shifruk

Friday 16th of April 2021

THank you very much for trying my recipe! Glad you liked it!


Thursday 10th of December 2020

My husband and I get tired of eating leftovers for days so I tried this recipe. Turned out great. I put some lemon juice and half an onion in the cavity. Rubbed the outside with chicken rub. Even the white meat turned out nice and juicy. Will definitely make again.


Tuesday 17th of November 2020

Is there an adjustment to this recipe if the hen is frozen?


Sunday 7th of March 2021



Sunday 15th of November 2020

I've never been able to print your recipes. I'm not sure why. I bought 2 air fryers, one of them I bought a year ago. I haven't used them yet as I'm afraid of burning the food. Thank you. Trudy

Sage B.

Thursday 26th of November 2020

@Trudy, one huge regret I have is leaving my air fryer sitting in the box for a year, bc I was scared to use it. You will love it. Please don’t be afraid to burn food. One great tip someone gave me: just remember “30/30”. An air fryer, versus an oven = 30% less time than an oven, 30% lower temperature than an oven. I keep two little spray bottles of oil (olive, and canola) just for my air fryer. I’ve made cakes and cobblers, homemade sweet potato fries, really good fried chicken nuggets/tenders (no egg wash - just cover in some seasoned bread/cracker crumbs, lay in the basket and spray with oil. Burgers are a favorite too.

I hope that info helps. I love my air fryer bc it doesn’t heat up the kitchen like the oven does, it’s faster, and it crisps everything so well (leftover spaghetti turns out so delicious heated through with crispy edges and top).

As far as things burning, just pull it open to check. Mine stops automatically, and when I push it back in, it continues. ??

We had a no-show Turkey (grocery delivery order earlier this week). I found Cornish hens though (yay!) so I came here for a quick recipe. Happy Thanksgiving, and I hope you enjoy the holiday season.

Blessings, Sage in NYC


Friday 25th of September 2020

Do you use the air dry or roast button?