How many calories are in chicken and waffles with syrup?

Chicken and waffles is a popular dish that combines crispy chicken and waffles topped with syrup. It originated in the United States and has become a beloved comfort food. While delicious, chicken and waffles is a high calorie dish. The combination of fried chicken, carb-heavy waffles, and sweet syrup packs a lot of calories into one meal. For people watching their calorie intake or managing their weight, it’s important to understand how many calories are in chicken and waffles. This article will break down the calorie count and nutritional value of chicken and waffles with syrup.

Calories in Chicken

The main source of calories in chicken and waffles comes from the fried chicken. Chicken can be prepared in various ways – baked, grilled, breaded and fried, etc. Fried chicken tends to contain the highest amount of calories due to the oil or fat used in frying.

According to the USDA, a 3 oz serving of fried chicken breast (skin eaten) contains:
– 284 calories
– 15 g fat
– 0 g carbs
– 27 g protein

A 3 oz serving of fried chicken thigh (skin eaten) contains:
– 318 calories
– 23 g fat

– 0 g carbs
– 25 g protein

As you can see, fried chicken thighs contain more calories and fat compared to chicken breasts due to their higher fat content.

When preparing a full chicken and waffles dish, the typical serving size of fried chicken is around 6-8 oz or 170-227g. So for 6 oz (170g) of fried chicken breast, you would consume approximately:

– 568 calories
– 30g fat
– 54g protein

For 6 oz (170g) of fried chicken thighs, you would get:

– 636 calories
– 46g fat
– 50g protein

The calories can add up quickly as the serving size of chicken increases. Restaurants may even use a combination of breast and thigh meat.

Calories in Waffles

In addition to the chicken, the waffles also contribute a significant number of calories to this dish. The calorie content of waffles can vary based on the recipe and cooking method.

According to the USDA, a standard waffle (4 inches wide) contains:
– 130 calories
– 21 g carbs

– 4 g fat
– 4 g protein

For a full chicken and waffles meal, it’s common to eat 2-3 standard sized waffles.

So for 2 waffles (8 inches wide total), you would consume:
– 260 calories
– 42g carbs
– 8g fat
– 8g protein

As you can see, just two waffles alone contain 260 calories. The carbs and fat start adding up as you increase the number of waffles. Some restaurants may stack up to 3 large waffles which could have almost 400 calories.

Calories in Syrup

The final component of chicken and waffles is the syrup, which adds a good amount of calories and sugar. Traditional chicken and waffles are topped with sugary syrup such as maple syrup, honey, molasses, or even chocolate or fruit syrup.

According to the USDA, 1⁄4 cup (60ml) of pure maple syrup contains:
– 218 calories
– 54 g carbs
– 0 g fat
– 0 g protein

For honey, a typical 2 tablespoon (30ml) serving contains:
– 121 calories

– 30 g carbs
– 0 g fat
– 0 g protein

When poured liberally over a full chicken and waffles plate, you can easily consume 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 cup of sweet syrup, adding 200-400+ calories. The high sugar content will also spike blood sugar levels.

Total Calories in Chicken and Waffles

Now let’s put the full dish together to get a total calorie count:

For chicken and waffles with 2 standard waffles and 6 oz fried chicken thighs with 1⁄4 cup syrup, you would get:

– Chicken (170g): 636 calories
– Waffles (2): 260 calories
– Syrup (60ml): 218 calories

Total: 1,114 calories

The entire meal contains over 1,000 calories, and that’s before factoring in any side dishes or drinks. Eating larger portions or add-ons like gravy or whipped cream will pile on even more calories.

Here is a summary of the calorie count for common chicken and waffles meal combinations:

Meal Total Calories
6 oz chicken breast + 2 waffles + 1⁄4 cup syrup 1,046 calories
8 oz chicken breast + 2 waffles + 1⁄4 cup syrup 1,252 calories
8 oz chicken thigh + 3 waffles + 1⁄2 cup syrup 1,584 calories

As you can see, getting a full plate of chicken and waffles at a restaurant can easily add up to over 1,000 calories. Some cheat meals may even hit 2,000 calories with large portion sizes.

Tips for Lightening Up Chicken and Waffles

If you love chicken and waffles but want to watch your calorie intake, there are some simple tweaks you can make to lighten it up:

– Use boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead of fried chicken to reduce the calories, fat, and sodium. Chicken breasts are around 100 calories per 3 oz.

– Choose healthier baking, grilling or air frying instead of deep frying. This greatly reduces the amount of oil and calories.

– Use whole grain or multigrain waffles instead of thicker Belgian waffles to reduce the carbs and calories.

– Limit to 1 waffle instead of stacking 2 or more.

– Go easy on the syrup and drizzle it lightly rather than drowning the waffles.

– Swap out syrup for fresh fruit like berries or bananas to add sweetness with less calories.

– Share one plate as an appetizer instead of having a full individual portion.

With some simple adjustments, you can still enjoy the fun combination of chicken and waffles while sticking to your health goals. Moderation and portion control is key!

Nutritional Value of Chicken and Waffles

In addition to calories, chicken and waffles contains a mix of carbs, protein, fat, and limited micronutrients:


Mostly coming from the waffles, a full plate can contain 60-120g of carbs depending on portion sizes. The syrup also spikes up blood sugar levels.


Fried chicken provides a good amount of protein – around 25-50g per serving.


A combination of heart-unhealthy saturated and trans fats from the fried chicken and cooking oils. Can quickly add up to over 70g for a full meal.


Small amounts of:
– Calcium, phosphorus, potassium from the waffles
– B Vitamins such as niacin, B6 from the chicken
– Iron, zinc, magnesium from both chicken and waffles
– Sodium from cured/brined chicken and added table salt

Overall, chicken and waffles is high in calories, carbs, saturated fat, and sodium. It’s low in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Eating this dish in moderation along with more nutritious foods can help balance your diet.

Health Impact of Chicken and Waffles

Here is a look at how chicken and waffles can impact your health when consumed regularly:

Weight Gain

The incredibly high calorie count of this dish can easily cause weight gain if eaten frequently or in large portions. Keep servings modest to avoid overloading on calories.

Blood Sugar Spikes

Large amounts of carbs from the waffles and syrup will spike blood sugar and insulin levels. People with diabetes or insulin resistance should be mindful.

Increased Cholesterol

Excess saturated and trans fats can raise unhealthy LDL cholesterol over time, increasing risk for heart disease.

High Sodium

Most fried chicken, waffle mixes, and syrup pack a lot of added sodium, which can increase blood pressure.

Lack of Nutrients

Despite being high in calories, chicken and waffles lacks the vitamins, minerals, and fiber found in healthier whole foods.

Moderation is key – enjoying chicken and waffles occasionally as part of an overall nutritious diet is perfectly fine for most people. Just be mindful of portions to keep calories in check. Limit processed ingredients and aim for balance in your diet to manage health risks.

Healthier Chicken and Waffles Options

If you enjoy the taste of chicken and waffles but want to opt for better nutrition, here are some healthy recipes to try:

Oven “Fried” Chicken

– Use cornflake crumbs, whole wheat flour, and minimal oil to get crispy oven baked chicken vs. deep fried.

Whole Grain Waffles

– Look for whole wheat or multigrain waffles to increase fiber and nutrients.

Greek Yogurt Waffles

– Mix in Greek yogurt when making waffle batter to add protein.

Fruit Syrups

– Create your own “syrup” by pureeing berries, peaches, bananas, or other fruits. Delicious and more natural sweetness.

Whipped Cream

– Use light or fat free whipped cream instead of sugary butter-syrup for topping.

Side Salad

– Serve a side salad with vinaigrette to balance the meal with vegetables.

With a little creativity, you can transform chicken and waffles into a healthier yet still delicious meal. Focus on quality ingredients and allow yourself to indulge every so often.


Chicken and waffles can contain deceptively high calorie counts, especially when loaded up with fried chicken, multiple waffles, and syrup. A full restaurant meal can easily exceed 1,500 calories, with most of those calories coming from carbs, saturated fat, sodium, and sugar. While an occasional indulgent chicken and waffles treat is perfectly fine, be mindful of portion sizes to avoid overdoing calories, carbs, fat, and sugar, which can negatively impact your health and waistline over time. There are also creative ways to lighten up this soul food favorite by tweaking the cooking methods and ingredients. Overall, practice balance and moderation to enjoy humorous food combinations like chicken and waffles as part of an healthy, active lifestyle.

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