Instant Pot Cornish Hen

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Instant Pot Cornish Hen. How to cook a Cornish hen in any instant pot pressure cooker. An easy dump and go instant pot recipe for two featuring both Cornish hen and potatoes.

instant pot cornish hen at
Instant Pot Cornish Hen

But I have something even better than our instant pot Cornish hen for you to check out first.

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Instant Pot Cornish Hen

I had not heard of a Cornish hen until Instant Pots became a thing. Not that I hadn’t eaten them, I had just never heard of them being referred to as a Cornish hen until then.

I looked them up and investigated them (I love learning about other cultures food) and found out it was the same chickens that I had been eating in Portuguese restaurants for the last 13 years.

Also known as baby chickens they were the small ones that me and the hubby enjoy as Piri Piri Chicken.

Often served in low key Portuguese restaurants with fries and a side salad, they have become our Portuguese thing.

It got me thinking about them though. As they are the perfect size for two, you could serve them with potatoes as a meal or have two of them in one instant pot at once, or even cook them in a different sized instant pot.

Today, I will be showing you a simple way to enjoy instant pot Cornish hen and potatoes, that will have you coming back for more. Ideal if you are an instant pot beginner and want an easy meal.

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Can You Cook A Cornish Hen In An Instant Pot?

Yes, you can! In fact, depending on the size of your instant pot you could cook more than one. I know many prefer to load two Cornish hens into their instant pot and cook them together. Personally, this doesn’t appeal to me and I would rather cook a big chicken instead.

Why Is It Called Cornish Hen?

You would probably assume that a Cornish hen comes from Cornwall. In fact, it a Cornish hen was created when cross breeding occurred between chicken and game birds.

These resulted in small chickens that many people use for barbecues, rotisseries and restaurants often serve for two people.

Just like the barbecue chicken we have served up in Portugal is these baby chickens that have been spatchcocked, cooked and then served as chicken pieces.

What Is The Difference Between A Chicken & A Cornish Hen?

There is just one small difference between the two. A chicken is bigger than a Cornish hen and a Cornish hen is associated with a young chicken.

It is a bit like comparing lamb and mutton.

The Cornish hen that we bought weighed in at 800g and normally our small chickens from the supermarket that are labelled as small weight in at 1.1kg. So you can tell the size difference.

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How To Cook Cornish Hens In Instant Pot?

instant pot cornish hen step by step

If you are wondering how do you cook Cornish hens in an instant pot, then you will be pleased to know it’s incredibly simple:

  1. Load stock into the instant pot.
  2. Add trivet.
  3. Add Cornish hen.
  4. Pressure cook.
  5. Serve.

How Long Do You Cook A Cornish Hen In An Instant Pot?

The instant pot Cornish hen cook time is JUST 15 minutes. This will produce just cooked Cornish hen that you can tuck into straight away or use for meal prep.

However, if you would like your Cornish hen to be crispy, then I recommend cooking it in the air fryer, 5 minutes on each side with extra virgin olive oil in the air fryer at 200c/400f.

Here is our Cornish hen going in our Philips Air Fryer XL:

instant pot cornish hen in air fryer basket

I have put it to one side so that you can see how small the Cornish hen is and how you could add your sides too.

Then of course, once it beeps, check the thickest part of the chicken breast to make sure it is cooked like this:

instant pot cornish hen is it cooked

What Do You Eat With Cornish Hens?

My first choice is instant pot Cornish hen and potatoes. I find that a lot of meats you want to add potatoes to, but the potatoes are too soggy afterwards and it becomes a task to get the times right.

But with a Cornish hen it has a much lower cook time, and you match a Cornish hen with a batch of baked potatoes.

Because you don’t really need to prep baked potatoes you can throw it in together and it becomes one of the fastest ways to prep chicken and potatoes for the instant pot.

Instant Pot Cornish Hen
Instant Pot Cornish Hen
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5 from 3 votes

Instant Pot Cornish Hen

Instant Pot Cornish Hen. How to cook a Cornish hen in any instant pot pressure cooker. An easy dump and go instant pot recipe for two featuring both Cornish hen and potatoes.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Air Fryer, Instant Pot
Servings: 2
Calories: 1181kcal


Kitchen Gadgets:

Instant Pot Cornish Hen Ingredients:


  • Tie your Cornish hen legs together with some string. Place 1 cup/240ml of chicken stock in the instant pot inner pot. Then add your trivet. Fork your baked potatoes and season them with salt.
    Can You Cook A Cornish Hen In An Instant Pot?
  • On a clean worktop season your Cornish hen with chicken seasoning, thyme, salt, and pepper.
    Can You Cook A Cornish Hen In An Instant Pot?
  • Place the chicken onto the trivet along with the baked potatoes. Place the lid on the instant pot and set the valve to sealing.
    Can You Cook A Cornish Hen In An Instant Pot?
  • Pressure cook for 15 minutes and then do a quick pressure release. Serve or air fry for crispy skin.
    Can You Cook A Cornish Hen In An Instant Pot?


Stock. I used the chicken stock that I made in my instant pot frozen whole chicken recipe. You could do the same, make your own or use a shop bought one.
Quantities. Note that there is enough space in a larger instant pot to do 2 Cornish hens at once if you wish. Or this recipe is ideal if you have an instant pot mini and want a small meal for two.
Thanks for reading our instant pot Cornish hen recipe on Recipe This. We have many more instant pot recipes for you to check out next. Though if you love instant pot easy meats, then I recommend you try our Instant Pot frozen whole turkey next.


Calories: 1181kcal | Carbohydrates: 81g | Protein: 81g | Fat: 58g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 408mg | Sodium: 442mg | Potassium: 2898mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 663IU | Vitamin C: 92mg | Calcium: 133mg | Iron: 8mg
Nutrition InfoPlease Note: Nutrition values are our best estimate based on the software we use at Recipe This and are meant as a guide. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.
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instant pot cornish hen recipe
Recipe This

Hi! I am Sam and along with my chef hubby Dom we love sharing with you easy everyday recipes using kitchen gadgets. We are also the authors of The Complete Air Fryer Cookbook, an amazing air fryer cookbook filled with 140+ everyday air fryer recipes. Beyond the air fryer we also love the instant pot, slow cooker, soup maker, ninja foodi, pie marker and several other kitchen gadgets. CLICKING HERE →

3 thoughts on “Instant Pot Cornish Hen”

  1. 5 stars
    Thank you.I was looking for one of these and to find it had landed in my inbox was a timely coincidence. Turned out great thanks just the right size for me and my hubby.

  2. 5 stars
    Love a cornish hen and not tried one in an instant pot because i thought it would be too delicate with the pressure but the timings and your instructions mine turned out great thanks.

  3. 5 stars
    Mine turned out so juicy and like Karen said they are just enough for me and my husband with a few veggies, you do make it so easy to do recipes with kitchen gadgets, thank you.


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