The amount of calories in chicken can range based on the specific cut, along with the way that it’s prepared. However, most popular varieties contain 155–203 calories per 3.5-ounce (oz.), or 100-gram (g), serving.
Chicken is a popular option when it comes to lean protein, as it packs a considerable amount into a single serving without a lot of fat.
Plus, it’s easy to cook at home and available in most restaurants. Chicken dishes can be found on just about any menu, no matter what type of cuisine you’re eating.
But you may wonder exactly how many calories are in that chicken on your plate.
Chicken comes in many cuts, including breasts, thighs, wings, and drumsticks. Each cut contains a different number of calories and a different proportion of protein to fat.
Here are the calorie counts for the most popular cuts of chicken.
Chicken breast is one of the most popular cuts of chicken. It’s high in protein and low in fat, making it an excellent choice for people trying to lose weight.
One skinless, boneless, cooked chicken breast (172 g) has the following nutrition breakdown (
- Calories: 284
- Protein: 53.4 g
- Carbs: 0 g
- Fat: 6.2 g
A 3.5-oz. (100-g) serving of chicken breast provides 165 calories, 31 g of protein, and 3.6 g of fat (
That means that approximately 80% of the calories in chicken breast come from protein and 20% come from fat.
Keep in mind that these amounts refer to a plain chicken breast with no added ingredients. Once you start cooking it in oil or adding marinades or sauces, you increase the total amount of calories, carbs, and fat.
Chicken breast is a low fat source of protein that contains zero carbs. One chicken breast has 284 calories, or 165 calories per 3.5-oz. (100-g) serving. About 80% of the calories come from protein while 20% come from fat.
Chicken thigh is slightly more tender and flavorful than chicken breast due to its higher fat content.
One skinless, boneless, cooked chicken thigh (116 g) contains (
- Calories: 208
- Protein: 28.8 g
- Carbs: 0 g
- Fat: 9.5 g
A 3.5-oz. (100-g) serving of chicken thigh provides 179 calories, 24.8 g of protein, and 8.2 g of fat (
Thus, 55% of the calories come from protein while 45% come from fat.
One chicken thigh contains 208 calories, or 179 calories per 3.5 oz. (100 g). It’s 55% protein and 45% fat.
When you think about healthy cuts of chicken, chicken wings probably don’t come to mind.
However, as long as they’re not covered in breading or sauce and deep-fried, they can easily fit into a healthy diet.
One skinless, boneless chicken wing (21 g) contains (
- Calories: 43
- Protein: 6.4 g
- Carbs: 0 g
- Fat: 1.7 g
Per 3.5 oz. (100 g), chicken wings provide 203 calories, 30.5 g of protein, and 8.1 g of fat (
This means that 64% of the calories come from protein and 36% from fat.
One chicken wing has 43 calories, or 203 calories per 3.5 oz. (100 g). It’s 64% protein and 36% fat.
Chicken legs are made up of two parts — the thigh and the drumstick. The drumstick is the lower portion of the leg.
One skinless, boneless chicken drumstick (96 g) contains (
- Calories: 149
- Protein: 23.2 g
- Carbs: 0 g
- Fat: 5.5 g
Per 3.5 oz. (100 g), chicken drumsticks have 155 calories, 24.2 g of protein, and 5.7 g of fat (
When it comes to calorie count, about 65% come from protein while 35% come from fat.
One chicken drumstick has 149 calories, or 155 calories per 3.5 oz. (100 g). It’s 65% protein and 35% fat.
Though breast, thighs, wings, and drumsticks are the most popular cuts of chicken, there are several others to choose from.
- Chicken tenderloins: 89 calories per 3.5 oz. (100 g)
- Back: 239 calories per 3.5 oz. (100 g)
- Dark meat: 178 calories per 3.5 oz. (100 g)
- Light meat: 153 calories per 3.5 oz. (100 g)
The number of calories in various cuts of chicken varies. Chicken tenderloins have the lowest number of calories while the chicken back has the highest.
While a skinless chicken breast is 284 calories with 80% protein and 20% fat, those numbers dramatically shift when you include the skin (
One boneless, cooked chicken breast with skin (196 g) contains (
- Calories: 386
- Protein: 58.4 g
- Fat: 15.2 g
In a chicken breast with skin, 61% of the calories come from protein, while 39% come from fat. Additionally, eating the skin adds nearly 81 calories (
Similarly, one chicken wing with skin (34 g) has 86 calories, compared to 43 calories in a skinless wing (21 g). Thus, 60% of the calories in chicken wings with skin come from fat, compared to 36% in a wing without skin (
So if you’re trying to lose weight or reduce your fat intake, it may be best to opt for chicken without the skin to minimize calories and fat.
Eating chicken with the skin adds a significant amount of calories and fat. Take the skin off before eating to reduce calories.
Chicken meat alone is relatively low in calories and fat compared to other meats. But once you start adding oil, sauce, batter, and breading, the calories can add up.
For example, a skinless, boneless, cooked chicken thigh (116 g) contains 208 calories and 9.5 g of fat (
Similarly, one boneless, skinless chicken wing (21 g) has 43 calories and 1.7 g of fat (
Therefore, cooking methods that add little fat, such as poaching, roasting, grilling, and steaming, are your best bet for keeping the calorie count low.
Cooking methods, such as frying in breading and coating the meat in sauce, can add more than a few calories to your chicken. For a low calorie option, stick with baked or grilled chicken.
Chicken is a popular meat, and most cuts are low in calories and fat while providing ample protein.
Here are the calorie counts of the most common cuts of boneless, skinless chicken per 3.5-oz. (100-g) serving:
- Chicken breast: 165 calories
- Chicken thigh: 179 calories
- Chicken wing: 203 calories
- Chicken drumstick: 155 calories
Note that eating the skin or using high fat cooking methods adds calories.