How many calories are in 4 ounces of white meat chicken?

Chicken is one of the most popular sources of protein around the world. It’s a versatile ingredient that can be prepared in many different ways, from grilling and baking to frying and stewing. Chicken is valued for its mild flavor and texture, as well as its relatively low cost compared to other meats.

When it comes to nutrition, chicken is an excellent source of high-quality protein. However, the calorie and fat content of chicken can vary considerably depending on the cut and preparation method. In general, white meat chicken tenders to be lower in calories and fat than dark meat cuts.

So exactly how many calories are in 4 ounces of white meat chicken? Let’s take a closer look.

Calories in Chicken Breast

Chicken breast is considered white meat and is one of the leanest parts of the chicken. A 4 ounce serving of boneless, skinless chicken breast contains approximately:

– 120 calories
– 3 grams of fat
– 0 grams trans fat
– 25 grams of protein

Chicken breast is about 96% lean meat and contains no carbohydrates. It’s an excellent source of niacin, selenium, vitamin B6 and phosphorus as well.

Here is a nutrition facts label for a 4 ounce serving of boneless, skinless chicken breast:

Nutrition Facts Serving Size 4oz (112g) Servings Per Container 1
Amount Per Serving
Calories 120 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 70mg 23%
Sodium 70mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Protein 25g 50%

As you can see, a 4 ounce serving of boneless, skinless chicken breast is relatively low in calories and fat, while providing 25 grams of protein. This makes it an excellent choice as part of a healthy, balanced diet.

Calories in Chicken Tenders

Chicken tenders are strips of breast meat that come from the underside of the chicken breast. They are sometimes referred to as chicken strips or chicken fingers.

A 4 ounce serving of baked chicken tenders contains approximately:

– 140 calories
– 3.5 grams of fat
– 0 grams trans fat
– 27 grams protein

The calorie count is slightly higher for chicken tenders compared to a regular chicken breast due to the shape and texture of tenders. The interconnected tissue and thinner shape leads to slightly more fat per ounce. However, chicken tenders are still considered a lean, white meat choice.

Here is a nutrition label for a 4 ounce serving of baked chicken tenders:

Nutrition Facts Serving Size 4oz (112g) Servings Per Container 1
Amount Per Serving
Calories 140 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 8%
Saturated Fat 1.5g 8%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 70mg 23%
Sodium 460mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Protein 27g 54%

Chicken tenders are slightly higher in calories, fat and sodium compared to plain chicken breast. However, they still provide an excellent source of lean protein and nutrients.

Factors That Impact Calories

When determining the calories in chicken breast or tenders, there are several factors that can alter the nutrition facts:


Chicken skin contains a high amount of fat. A 4 ounce serving of chicken breast with the skin on contains about 160 calories and 9 grams of fat compared to 120 calories and 3 grams of fat for skinless. Always remove poultry skin prior to eating to reduce the calorie and fat intake.

Cooking Method

Fried chicken absorbs a significant amount of oil during cooking, thus greatly increasing the calorie and fat content. For example, 4 ounces of fried chicken breast contains about 210 calories and 12 grams of fat. Compare this to baked, grilled or roasted chicken which provides the lowest calorie options.


Breaded chicken, such as chicken nuggets or fried chicken tenders, absorb calories and fat from the breading. 4 ounces of breaded chicken can add 50-100 extra calories. Choose plain, unbreaded chicken for the fewest calories.

Portion Size

Pay close attention to your portion sizes when eating chicken. A 4 ounce serving is about the size of a deck of cards or the palm of your hand. Larger portions will pack in more calories. Use a kitchen scale or measuring cups to accurately portion chicken.

Added Ingredients

Avoid chicken that is pre-sauced or served with heavy gravies or dressings. These extra ingredients can add hundreds of calories. Instead, control what goes on your chicken by seasoning it yourself with lower calorie options like herbs, spices, lemon, or hot sauce.

Tips for Low-Calorie Chicken

Here are some tips for keeping the calories low when preparing and eating chicken breast:

– Remove the skin before cooking or eating chicken. This greatly reduces the fat and calorie content.

– Opt for boneless, skinless chicken breasts whenever possible. Breasts are the leanest cut.

– Bake, grill, roast or poach chicken instead of frying. This prevents excess oil absorption.

– Avoid breading chicken or look for lower calorie substitutions like panko breadcrumbs.

– Portion chicken into 4-6 oz servings and weigh with a kitchen scale for accuracy.

– Skip the extra sauces and dressings. Season chicken with herbs, spices, citrus, vinegar or other low-calorie flavors.

– Pair chicken with non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, peppers, or spinach instead of carb-heavy sides.

Health Benefits of Chicken Breast

In addition to being low in calories, chicken breast offers many valuable health benefits:

– High in Protein – A 4 ounce serving provides over 25 grams of protein for muscle growth and recovery.

– Rich in Nutrients – Chicken contains vitamins like niacin, selenium, vitamin B6 and minerals like phosphorus.

– May Reduce Heart Disease – The omega-3 fatty acids in chicken may help lower cholesterol and triglycerides.

– Supports Weight Loss – Chicken is a lean protein that helps you feel full and preserves lean muscle mass.

– May Lower Risk of Cancer – Studies suggest chicken consumption is associated with reduced rates of colorectal cancer.

– Easy to Cook – Chicken is affordable and can be seasoned in endless ways for delicious meals.

Incorporating Chicken Into a Healthy Diet

Here are some tips for incorporating white meat chicken into a healthy, well-rounded diet:

– Use it for salads – Top salad greens with grilled chicken strips or diced chicken breast.

– Make wraps or sandwiches – Fill whole grain tortillas and bread with chicken, veggies and a little hummus or avocado.

– Meal prep – Bake or grill extra chicken breast to use throughout the week in meals and snacks.

– Add it to soups and stews – Mix in diced chicken to boost the protein content of soups.

– Create healthy casseroles – Make casseroles with chicken, vegetables and whole grains like brown rice or barley.

– Swap it for red meat – Substitute chicken for beef or pork in stir fries, tacos, pasta dishes and more.

– Enjoy it Mediterranean-style – Season chicken with lemon, olive oil, garlic, oregano and feta.

– Make skewers – Alternate pieces of chicken and veggies like peppers and onion on skewers.


A 4 ounce serving of boneless, skinless chicken breast contains about 120 calories, while the same amount of chicken tenders has 140 calories. Chicken breast and tenders are both considered lean, white meat options that are nutritious and lower in fat than dark chicken meat. Pay attention to portion sizes and cooking methods to keep the calories of chicken to a minimum. Incorporating non-fried chicken breast into a balanced diet can provide protein, important nutrients and support overall health.

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