How much protein in a pound of chicken?

How much protein in a pound of chicken?


When it comes to a healthy diet, protein is an essential nutrient that plays a crucial role in building and repairing tissues, supporting muscle growth, and maintaining overall health. Chicken is a popular source of protein for many people due to its versatility and relatively low fat content. If you’ve ever wondered how much protein is in a pound of chicken, this article will provide you with the answer.

Protein Content in Chicken

Chicken is known for being a rich source of protein. The exact amount of protein in a pound of chicken can vary depending on the specific cut and cooking method. However, on average, a pound of cooked chicken breast contains approximately 31 grams of protein. This makes chicken breast an excellent choice for individuals looking to meet their daily protein requirements.

Chicken Cuts and Protein Content

Different cuts of chicken have varying protein content. Here are some common chicken cuts and their approximate protein content per pound:

1. Chicken Breast: As mentioned earlier, a pound of cooked chicken breast provides around 31 grams of protein. This cut is lean and has a high protein-to-fat ratio, making it a popular choice among fitness enthusiasts and those following a low-fat diet.

2. Chicken Thigh: Chicken thighs are slightly higher in fat compared to chicken breast, but they still offer a significant amount of protein. A pound of cooked chicken thigh contains approximately 26 grams of protein.

3. Chicken Drumstick: Chicken drumsticks are another flavorful cut that provides a good amount of protein. A pound of cooked chicken drumstick contains around 27 grams of protein.

4. Chicken Wings: Chicken wings are often enjoyed as a snack or appetizer. While they are delicious, they contain less meat compared to other cuts. A pound of cooked chicken wings provides approximately 27 grams of protein.

Protein Quality in Chicken

In addition to the quantity of protein, it’s important to consider the quality of protein in chicken. Chicken is considered a complete protein source, meaning it contains all essential amino acids that the body needs for proper functioning. These amino acids cannot be produced by the body and must be obtained through the diet.

Chicken protein is also highly bioavailable, meaning it is easily absorbed and utilized by the body. This makes it an excellent choice for individuals looking to maximize their protein intake and support muscle growth and recovery.


In conclusion, a pound of cooked chicken provides a significant amount of protein, making it a valuable addition to a balanced diet. The protein content varies depending on the cut of chicken, with chicken breast offering the highest protein content per pound. Chicken is not only a great source of protein but also a versatile and delicious ingredient that can be enjoyed in various dishes.


– USDA FoodData Central:
– Healthline: