How much protein is in a whole chicken?

How much protein is in a whole chicken?


When it comes to protein-rich foods, chicken is often at the top of the list. Whether you’re looking to build muscle, maintain a healthy diet, or simply enjoy a delicious meal, chicken is a popular choice. But just how much protein is in a whole chicken? In this article, we will explore the protein content of a whole chicken and its nutritional benefits.

Protein Content in a Whole Chicken

A whole chicken consists of various parts, including the breast, thighs, wings, and drumsticks. Each of these parts contains a different amount of protein. On average, a whole roasted chicken weighing approximately 3.5 pounds (1.6 kilograms) provides around 165 grams of protein. This protein content can vary slightly depending on the size and type of chicken.

Protein in Chicken Breast

Chicken breast is often considered the leanest and most protein-dense part of the chicken. It is a popular choice for those looking to increase their protein intake while minimizing fat consumption. On average, a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of chicken breast contains about 31 grams of protein. This makes it an excellent source of high-quality protein.

Protein in Chicken Thighs

Chicken thighs, while slightly higher in fat compared to chicken breast, also provide a significant amount of protein. A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of chicken thighs contains approximately 26 grams of protein. This makes chicken thighs a good option for those who prefer a juicier and more flavorful cut of chicken.

Protein in Chicken Wings

Chicken wings are a popular choice for appetizers or game-day snacks. While they may be smaller in size, they still contribute to your protein intake. A single chicken wing contains about 6 grams of protein. However, keep in mind that the protein content can vary depending on the size of the wing.

Protein in Chicken Drumsticks

Chicken drumsticks are another flavorful and protein-rich part of the chicken. A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of chicken drumsticks provides approximately 28 grams of protein. They are a great option for those who enjoy dark meat and want to increase their protein intake.

Other Nutritional Benefits of Chicken

In addition to being a good source of protein, chicken offers various other nutritional benefits. It is rich in essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B6, vitamin B12, niacin, and selenium. Chicken also contains important amino acids that support muscle growth and repair.

Furthermore, chicken is a versatile protein source that can be prepared in numerous ways, allowing for a wide range of culinary options. Grilling, baking, roasting, or even boiling chicken can help retain its nutritional value while providing different flavors and textures.


A whole chicken provides a significant amount of protein, with an average of 165 grams for a 3.5-pound (1.6-kilogram) roasted chicken. Chicken breast, thighs, wings, and drumsticks all contribute to this protein content, with varying amounts in each part. Incorporating chicken into your diet can help meet your protein needs while enjoying a delicious and versatile protein source.


– USDA FoodData Central:
– Healthline:
– MedicalNewsToday: