Can you believe Thanksgiving is right around the corner? Mike and I are traveling to Colorado this year which means that our feast was up in the air until we discovered this Cranberry Stuffed Game Hens recipe. If you’re looking for a way to simplify the dinner, here are some reasons to give this recipe a try.

Game HensCranberry Stuffing

Recipe Tip 1: Game Hens are Small

I love the size of the game hens. One hen can easily serve two people, which is convenient when you can’t store a bunch of leftovers or aren’t hosting that many people. We picked ours up from Marianos. Two frozen game hens come in each package which costs $6.00. Price. Is. Right.

Recipe Tip 2: Make Two Batches of Cranberry Stuffing

Second, the cranberry stuffing is incredible. I recommend buying freshly made bread from the market and making two batches of the recipe below. We couldn’t seem to get enough of it between the two of us.

Game Hens with CranberriesGame Hens with Cranberry Stuffing

Recipe Tip 3: Quick and Easy Cooking Process

This recipe is not an “all day in the kitchen” cooking process. Win! It only takes a couple of hours to make and smells so amazing as it roasts in the oven. There’s nothing wrong with pouring yourself a tasty drink and relaxing a little more over the holiday, am I right?

Cranberry Stuffed Game HensGame Hens for Thanksgiving

Holiday Side Recipes

If you want even more holiday recipe ideas, you should check out some popular Thanksgiving Sides below:

Glazed Pearl Onions
Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
Easy Cranberry Sauce
Cranberry Salsa
Leftover Cranberry Sauce Popsicles




For the stuffing:

  • 2 cups bread cubes cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup shallots, minced
  • 2 tablespoons scallions, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 cornish game hens

For the sauce:

  • 2/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup fresh cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup


For the stuffing:

  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. Spread bread cubes amongst a baking sheet.
  3. Toast in the oven until golden brown, 20-40 minutes and transfer to a bowl.
  4. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  5. Add the shallots and scallions to the skillet, mix with the butter and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the dried cranberries to the shallots. Stir until cooked through, about 2-3 minutes.
  7. Pour the chicken broth into the skillet and bring to a simmer.
  8. Pour mixture over the bread cubes and stir until the liquid is absorbed.
  9. Season with chopped thyme, minced rosemary, sage, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.
  10. Mix the beaten egg into the bread mixture. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit while the liquid absorbs, about 15 minutes.

For the hens and sauce:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Drizzle the bottom of a roasting pan with olive oil and sprigs of fresh thyme and fresh rosemary.
  3. Season the cavities of the hens with a generous amount of salt.
  4. Stuff each hen with about half of the bread-cranberry mixture.
  5. Tie the legs together and carefully set each in the roasting pan on top of the thyme and rosemary.
  6. Brush hens with olive oil and salt and pepper.
  7. Bake the hens in the oven until no longer pink at the bone and the juices are clear, about 1 hour. An instant read thermometer should read 165 degrees F in the thickest part of the thigh.
  8. Remove hens  from the roasting pan and lightly cover with foil on a plate. Let rest for 10 minutes.
  9. Place the roasting pan over medium-high heat.
  10. Stir in chicken broth, fresh cranberries and maple syrup.
  11. Bring to a boil and scrape up the brown bits of food from the pan.
  12. Cook and stir until the sauce thickens, about 3-5 minutes.
  13. Spoon the sauce over the hens and serve.

All images ©Regan Baroni 2017.

comments +

  1. Mike says:

    Definitely looking forward to munchin down on some tasty hen this Thanksgiving! Thank YOU, Regan, for being the best!

    • Regan says:

      We should make this over the Christmas holiday too… it’s so good and perfect for the holidays! Cheers to keeping it simple this year!

      • Leanne says:

        We will miss you this Thanksgiving! ???? This game hen recipe looks so easy and yummy! I plan to try it over the holidays! As always, the photos are excellent!

        • Regan says:

          We’ll miss you too, Leanne! Big hugs from Mike and me! And, yes, this recipe is really easy and so so good. If you try it, you’ll have to let me know what you think. xoxo

  2. Kik says:

    Hat tip to Mike on the recipe—sounds (and looks!!) amazing. So manageable to make for two or a small group. We made your Easy Cranberry Sauce last year and it was great, of course. 🙂 You’ve got me officially excited for Thanksgiving!

    • Regan says:

      Hat tip to Mike is right! And, that cranberry sauce is awesome too – so easy. I’m all about simplifying this holiday. Cheers to you and Vic! I hope you have a very happy and delicious holiday! xoxo

  3. […] week I shared a Cranberry Stuffed Game Hens recipe that takes under two hours to put on the table. It’s a perfect recipe for a more […]

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