What to Serve with Cornish Hens: 17 Best Side Dishes


Quick Answer: What to Serve with Cornish Hens?

The best side dishes that you can serve with Cornish Hens are- Mac and Cheese, Roasted Red Potatoes, Glazed Carrots, Corn on the Cob, Dinner Rolls, Corn Pudding, Fresh Salad, Brussels Sprouts, Broccolini, Mushroom Rice, Crispy Onion Rings, Creamy Coleslaw, Eggplant Parmesan, Lemon Garlic Pasta, Caprese Salad, Classic Cranberry Sauce and Sautéed Kale with Garlic.

Looking for side dishes to pair with those succulent and tender Cornish Hens? Keep reading!

In this post, we are going to list down the 17 best side dishes that you can serve alongside these delectable birds packed with distinct flavors.

With their complementary flavors and interesting textures, these sides are guaranteed to fill your hearts to the brim.

I have personally tried my hand at these recipes and all these sides are sure to make a mark.

Let’s get started!

1. Mac and Cheese

Total calories (per 100 gm)- 164
Total preparation time– 40 min

A Southern classic, a side of ultra-creamy Mac and Cheese can never go wrong!

Fairly easy to make, creamy Macaroni and Cheese pairs perfectly with Chicken and is an absolute crowd-puller.

Want to make the pasta extra creamy? Just pour in some cream cheese or evaporated milk.

Alternatively, you can use pasta’s own starch in order to prepare a thick creamy sauce.

Once drained, let the pasta soak up some water and at the same time release a little starch into the mixture.

Subsequently, a generous topping of breadcrumbs will make your side extra crunchy!

Watch how The Cooking Foodie makes a classic Mac n Cheese:

2. Roasted Red Potatoes

Total calories (per 100 gm)– 89
Total preparation time– 45 min

This is a super quick, easy, healthy and elegant side that takes just minutes to put together and is an ultimate crowd-pleaser.

These perfectly roasted red potatoes are coated in garlic, herbs and parmesan and are absolutely crispy and full of interesting flavors.

Red potatoes are great when it comes to roasting as this type holds it shape really well and comes with a neutral flavor that pairs well with just about any seasoning.

Ensure not to overcook the potatoes.

They generally do not take more than 40 minutes to cook.

Also, try to pick smaller red potatoes and not large ones as they might be hard to eat.

Check out this amazing recipe by Food Wishes:

3. Glazed Carrots

Total calories (per 100 gm)– 76
Total preparation time– 20 min

A side of Glazed carrots is a classic that never goes out of style.

The crunchy texture of the carrots provides a beautiful contrast to our tender main dish, Cornish Hens.

You are free to choose the sweetener- you can either go all classic with granulated sugar or use brown sugar for a deep rich flavor.

Honey, on the other hand, adds a floral aroma, while maple syrup has an earthy as ever flavor.

Once you have mixed everything together, you may season the carrots with additional salt and pepper if needed.

Here’s a descriptive recipe by TheCooknShare:

4. Corn on the Cob

Total calories (per 100 gm)– 106
Total preparation time– 20 min

Cornish Hen is savory and tender, so it’s only fitting to combine it with sweet, juicy, crunchy and a little charred Corn on the Cob.

It may look simple but is a fantastic way to round out your meal. Plus, it promises the benefits of a vegetable in the form of a dessert.

Grilling and roasting are the most practical methods and provides that extra richness to the corn.

On the other hand, steaming or boiling too gives similar textures and promises juicy kernels.

Work some butter on the corn and drizzle with salt and pepper to make the side catapult to a new level.

Check out this fun recipe by The Domestic Geek:

5. Dinner Rolls

Total calories (per 100 gm)– 300
Total preparation time– 3 h 40 min

There is nothing better than serving these buttery soft, fluffy and warm dinner rolls next to your Cornish hens.

All the time and effort put into these homemade dinner rolls would be so much worth at the end.

Plus, the bread can soak up all the goodness of rich and savory juices oozing out from the birds.

What else? You just need 6 pantry staples to throw the recipe together- milk, unsalted butter, dry yeast, sugar, all-purpose flour and salt.

Check out this quick and delectable recipe by Tasty:

6. Corn Pudding

Total calories (per 100 gm)– 131
Total preparation time– 60 min

The sweet flavours of this Southern pudding optimally cut through those savory birds.

Made with cornbread mix and canned corn, this ultimate comfort food is an absolute crowd-pleaser.

For all spicy lovers out there, if you want a savory corn pudding, just omit the sugar.

Alternatively, you can throw in some onions and thyme to the batter before you take to baking.

Here’s how Food Wishes makes this yummy pudding:

7. Fresh Salad

Total calories (per 100 gm)– 45
Total preparation time– 15 min

A fresh and refreshing salad is not only healthy but downright delicious.

To boot, it goes perfectly well with just about any meal. Let alone Cornish hens.

Go for a simple green salad, fresh and flavorful, it can never go wrong!

Just combine your preferred greens along with some diced onion, bell pepper and carrot and toss with a lemon or vinegar dressing.

Additionally, you can sprinkle some nuts or seeds for added crunch.

8. Brussels Sprouts

Total calories (per 100 gm) – 60
Total preparation time– 25 min

Brussels sprouts are super simple to make, can be customized with your favorite seasonings and are always so delicious!

Crisp with almost a nutty and earthy flavor, they make for a fantastic veggie side to Cornish Hens.

These Brussels sprouts are made simply with just olive oil, salt and pepper.

For variation, you can throw in some fresh herbs such as chopped rosemary, cilantro, parsley or basil.

Also, did we mention that bacon bits taste divine with these roasted brussels sprouts? Give them a shot too!

Check out this recipe by Clean & Delicious:

9. Broccolini

Total calories (per 100 gm)– 35
Total preparation time– 12 min

Broccolini may not be that sought-after as Broccoli but is its arguably tastier cousin.

With almost no preparation time involved, it is on the table real quick and is just so versatile.

The most effective way to prepare it is also pretty simple: Just toss some broccolini in a hot pan with olive oil and garlic until it becomes tender and visibly bright and greener.

You can also add a pinch of red chili flakes for an added flavor.

Serve immediately and enjoy!

Do check out these 3 awesome ways to cook Broccolini:

10. Mushroom Rice

Total calories (per 100 gm)– 170
Total preparation time– 40 min

A bowl of rich, tender and starchy Mushroom rice will round up your bird meal just fine.

Not only is this side downright delicious but is also arguably healthy. Plus, mushrooms make it all the more tasty, crunchy and flavorful.

If you want to spice up your Mushroom rice, you can always add some tobasco sauce or paprika or simply more of black pepper.

Here’s a quick and fun recipe by Hebbars Kitchen:

11. Crispy Onion Rings

Total calories (per 100 gm)– 350
Total preparation time– 30 min

There is no better pairing than that of savory, succulent and tender Cornish hens along with crispy and crunchy Onion rings.

This spicy and extra crispy onion rings recipe could not be more simple and straightforward.

To make the batter, all you need to do is combine flour, baking powder, paprika and salt in a bowl. Coat the rings in this mixture and then coat in breadcrumbs and set aside.

Fry them in oil and your onion rings are ready to be served!

Check out this step-by-step recipe by The Cooking Foodie:

12. Creamy Coleslaw

Total calories (per 100 gm)– 169
Total preparation time– 25 min

Bright, vivid, creamy and refreshing Coleslaw is the perfect accompaniment to your Cornish Hens.

Packed with the richness of colorful cabbage, fresh corn, tomatoes and tart it is finished with a fine dressing of lemon juice, garlic, fresh coriander leaves and mustard.

While coleslaw once prepared tastes sweet in itself due to the cabbage and carrots, you can always eliminate sugar from the recipe.

Let the coleslaw sit in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before serving.

This way it turns out even more flavorful.

Check out this salad recipe by Kunal Kapur:

13. Eggplant Parmesan

Total calories (per 100 gm)– 160
Total preparation time– 60 min

Crispy and luscious Eggplant, layered with herbs, tomato sauce and loads of cheese is one of the best side dishes to pair with your Cornish hens.

Try cutting your eggplant slices to a similar width as even slices ensure even cooking.

You definitely will not want some pieces to overcook before others start getting all tender.

Once done with the layering, top your parm with fresh basil and your guests will sing your praises!

Check out how The Stay at Home Chef makes this delectable Eggplant parmesan:

14. Lemon Garlic Pasta

Total calories (per 100 gm)– 275
Total preparation time– 20

What can be a better side than buttery, tangy and flavorful pasta?

This luxurious dish comes together in no time and calls for ingredients that are already present in your kitchen- butter, cream, parmesan, onion, garlic and lemon.

Trust me when I say that it will go just fine with those yummy Cornish hens and you will love every bite of this heavy and creamy lemon sauce!

Quick tip- Try using penne pasta for this recipe as it works great.

Here’s a Classic Garlic Lemon Pasta Recipe for you by The Pasta Queen:

15. Caprese Salad

Total calories (per 100 gm)– 177
Total preparation time– 20 min

A refreshing, fleshy and vivid Caprese salad is not only healthy but also fuss-free to put together.

Loaded with the goodness of mozzarella, succulent tomatoes, and a generous amount of basil leaves; the salad is bursting with flavor and interesting textures.

Drizzle the mix in a balsamic glaze for an extra tangy sensation.

Additionally, try topping it with toasted pine nuts for a crunchy texture.

Do check out this awesome recipe with a balsamic glaze by Natasha’s Kitchen:

16. Classic Cranberry Sauce

Total calories (per 100 gm)– 151
Total preparation time– 20 min

Classic Cranberry sauce is everybody’s favourite.

It goes along perfectly fine with just about anything.

It can be prepared with either frozen or fresh cranberries, good quality sugar and water.

If you wish to cut on the sugar, just substitute it with Splenda or Truvia.

To achieve the best consistency, you must ensure that the cranberry sauce is thoroughly chilled before you serve it so it has time to set up.

You might want to make it a day ahead.

Check out this amazing recipe by Divas Can Cook:

17. Sautéed Kale with Garlic

Total calories (per 100 gm)– 51
Total preparation time– 15 min

Sautéed Kale is a super healthy and great tasting side if you are looking for something both healthy and hearty to pair with those Cornish hens.

Furthermore, it is real quick to put together and uses pantry staple ingredients like Kale, garlic, extra-virgin olive oil and salt and pepper.

Just add some extra-virgin olive oil and garlic in a pan, and then put in the chopped kale leaves and sauté them until they turn bright green.

Want to give the recipe a slight kick? Turn to red chili flakes!
Check out this fun recipe by Hilah Cooking:

Bottom Line

We hope that this detailed guide on what to serve with Cornish hens inspires you and assists you in making the most of your next gathering.

These incredibly delectable and complementing sides, each with their unique flavors and textures are sure to elevate your bird meal.

If you have any tips or suggestions to share, do let us know below.

Also, please don’t forget to share tasty side dish recipes with your friends and family!

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About Amanda Jones

Amanda is a person with an eye for detail. She has been cooking since her childhood and loves to bake too. Recently, she's made the decision to pursue baking full-time and quit her 9 to 5 job. In the meantime, she still enjoys cooking and baking for friends and family, especially when it comes time for special occasions like birthdays or holidays!