Protein In 8 oz Chicken Breast

Breakdown of Macros & Calories by Certified Nutritionist

By: Jeremy Fox, CNC, CPTPublished: December 13, 2024

A chicken breast is arguably the ultimate high protein food. And it’s a staple in just about any fat loss or muscle gain meal plan.

But just how much protein is in an average 8 oz chicken breast? The answer depends on the type of chicken breast and when you weigh it.

So read on to find out how much protein is in every kind of chicken breast. Plus, see how that compares to other high-protein foods.

8 oz Chicken Breast Protein

8 Oz Chicken Breast Protein

First, it’s essential to realize that 8 ounces of chicken can have different nutritional values depending on whether you weigh it raw or cooked.

In addition, a chicken breast can come with or without skin and bones. And protein content can vary between brands due to other factors such as water content.

Factors That Affect Chicken Breast Protein Content:

  • Raw vs. Cooked
  • Bone-In vs. Bone-Out
  • Skin-On vs. Skinless
  • Retained Water %

Now let’s look at some different types of chicken breasts to see how much protein is in an 8 oz portion.

8 oz Chicken Breast Protein Amount

This is an example of an 8 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast that I weighed in my kitchen.

8 Oz Chicken Breast Protein (Raw)

The boneless and skinless variety is the most common form of chicken breast you’ll find in most supermarkets. And it’s the first choice of athletes and bodybuilders due to the high protein to calorie ratio.

According to various listings in a nutrition database, an 8 oz of raw skinless chicken breast has about 52 grams of protein. With no carbs and just 3 grams of fat, that comes to about 240 calories.

8 oz Chicken Breast Protein Raw Skinless

8 Oz Chicken Breast Protein (Cooked)

After cooking, a chicken breast loses about 25% of its weight. That means if you start with 8 oz of chicken, it will only weigh 6 oz after cooking.

In other words, cooked chicken breast contains about 25% more protein than the same weight of raw chicken breast. So, an 8 oz cooked chicken breast has roughly 70 grams of protein (52g*1.25).

Knowing the protein content of cooked chicken breast is beneficial when you meal prep large quantities of meat to divide up later. But keep in mind that the protein amount can vary depending on cooking method, temperature, and duration.

8 oz Chicken Breast Protein Cooked Skinless

8 Oz Chicken Breast Protein (Skin-On)

Another factor to consider is whether the chicken breast has skin. The reason is that the skin contains more fat and less protein than the meat itself.

According to multiple database listings, an 8 oz chicken breast with skin has about 42 grams of protein. And, with upwards of 24 grams of fat, the skin-on breast has 380 calories.

Of course, you can reduce the amount of fat and calories by draining off the excess oil after cooking the chicken. But a chicken breast with skin will generally have more fat than a skinless breast.

8 oz Chicken Breast Protein Boneless Skin-On

8 Oz Chicken Breast Protein (Bone-In)

Chicken breasts with skin often come with the bone still in them. And the bone displaces the amount of meat in an 8 oz chicken breast.

On average, the breastbone weighs around 4 oz. So an 8 oz chicken breast with the bone in would only contain about 4 ounces of meat.

Therefore, an 8 oz bone-in, skin-on chicken breast has roughly 21 grams of protein.

8 oz Chicken Breast Raw Bone Skin

In case you’re wondering, yes, it is possible to remove the skin from a bone-in chicken breast. And you can also weigh a skin-on chicken breast after cooking.

So here is a table showing all the different combinations of chicken breast types with their corresponding protein, fat, and calorie content.

Table 1. 8 oz Chicken Breast Protein By Type

Chicken Breast Type Weight Protein Fat Calories
Raw, Boneless, Skinless 8 oz 52 g 3 g 240
Cooked, Boneless, Skinless 8 oz 70 g 4 g 320
Raw, Bone-In, Skin-On 8 oz 21 g 12 g 190
Raw, Bone-In, Skinless 8 oz 26 g 1 g 120
Raw, Skin-On, Bone Removed 8 oz 42 g 24 g 380
Cooked, Skin-On, Bone Removed 8 oz 56 g 32 g 500

Bear in mind these are numbers are approximations based on averages from a nutrition database. You should still check the label on your chicken breast to verify the macros and calories.

With this table, it’s easy to see why the boneless, skinless chicken breast is the best option for getting the most protein with the fewest calories.

Related: 4 oz Chicken Thigh Protein Content

How Big Is An 8 Oz Chicken Breast?

In general, an uncooked boneless chicken breast weighs between 6 and 10 oz. That means an 8 oz breast is about average, although still a relatively large chunk of meat.

The suggested serving size for chicken breast is 3 to 4 oz. So an 8 oz portion is like two servings and more than most people consume in one sitting.

However, an 8 oz chicken breast is an easy meal for large bodybuilders or people with big appetites on a high protein diet. Personally, I eat 8 ounces of chicken twice per day with rice and vegetables.

8 oz Chicken Breast Compared to Fork

Here is an 8 oz chicken breast next to a fork for size comparison.

Easy Chicken Breast Recipe

When most people think of chicken breast, they picture a bland meal with white rice. But a bodybuilding meal plan doesn’t have to be so boring!

Click here to try my 20-minute chicken, broccoli, and rice recipe.

Chicken Broccoli and Rice Recipe scaled

How To Measure 8 oz Chicken Breast

Of course, not all chicken breasts weigh precisely 8 oz. So how do you measure an 8 oz serving of chicken? I have a few different ways to do it – with or without a scale.

With No Scale

First, I always try to buy packages of chicken breasts in half-pound (8 oz) increments. You can do this by looking at the label and making sure the weight ends in .00 or .50 (at least reasonably close).

Next, cook all the chicken and divide it into equal portions. For example, if you bought 2 lbs (32 oz), you would divide it into four equal portions after cooking (32/4=8).

Don’t worry about being perfect. Like if one portion is 7 oz and another is 9 oz, that’s okay! Because, over a few days, it all evens out.

8 oz Chicken Breast Weighing

Buying chicken breasts in bulk is a good way to save money. But you can apply this same trick with any amount of chicken.

For example, I just purchased 5.91 lbs of chicken breasts. Again, the idea is to get close to a half or whole pound weight so you can divide it into 8 oz servings.

If I divide this 5.91 lbs into 12 equal servings, each one will be 7.88 ounces. So I hit almost right on my 8 oz target without having to weigh anything!

With Scale

If math isn’t your thing, you can also measure chicken with a kitchen scale. And you can do this before or after cooking.

First, you can weigh 8 oz of uncooked chicken breast on your scale. Or you can weigh multiples of 8 oz to divide up after cooking (16, 24, 32, etc.)

You can also weigh it after cooking if you don’t want to mess with raw chicken. Remember that chicken loses about 25% of its weight during cooking.

In practical terms, that means you should weigh 6 oz portions after cooking to get the same protein content as 8 oz of raw chicken breast.

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Protein Equivalents To 8 Oz Chicken Breast

While chicken breast is one of the best protein sources, you may not feel like eating it every day. So below are serving sizes of other high-protein foods that equal the same amount of protein in 8 oz of chicken breast.

Table 2. Food Amounts w/ Protein Equivalent of 8 oz Chicken Breast

Protein Source Weight Protein Fat Carbs Calories
Chicken Breast 8 oz 52 g 3 g 0 g 240
Lean Ground Turkey 10 oz 53 g 20 g 0 g 395
Salmon 12 oz 51 g 27 g 0 g 465
Sirloin Steak 9 oz 52 g 27 g 0 g 475
Tofu 22 oz 51 g 29 g 15 g 515

I’ve sorted the table from lowest to highest calories so you can see which foods are the most efficient sources of protein. As you can see, it’s hard to compete with the protein-to-calorie ratio of the boneless, skinless chicken breast.

Just for fun, I included tofu, one of the highest protein vegan foods. This example illustrates how hard it is to have a high-protein plant-based diet without eating way too many calories.

How Much Protein Do You Need Per Day?

Now you know that an 8 oz boneless skinless chicken breast contains right around 50 grams of protein. But how much protein do you need in a day?

Well, your ideal daily protein intake depends on your body size, exercise habits, and fitness goals. Try my free Protein Intake Calculator to find out how much protein you need.

More High Protein Food Nutrition Facts

You’ve seen how chicken breast compares to other protein sources regarding calories and nutrition. And you got a snapshot of the nutrition facts for some other high-protein foods.

But the protein content can vary depending on the type of meat you purchase and how you cook it. So check out these related articles to learn more about the nutrition in your favorite foods.

Chicken Breast vs Turkey Breast Protein

Tilapia Protein Raw vs Cooked

Steak Protein by Cut of Meat

Salmon Protein by Species

Pork Chop Protein per Ounce

Protein In Milk – Skim, Reduced Fat, Whole

Chicken Thigh Protein Boneless vs. Bone-In

Ground Beef Protein by Percentage

With this information, you’re on your way to being a meal prep master! But why stop learning now? Check out some of my other informative content below.

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By |March 10, 2022|Nutrition|0 Comments
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