How many calories in a cooked skinless chicken thigh?

Chicken thigh is a popular and versatile poultry choice. Many people enjoy chicken thigh for its juicy texture and savory flavor. When preparing chicken thigh, an important consideration for health-conscious eaters is the calorie content. Specifically, how many calories are in a cooked, skinless chicken thigh?

Quick Answer

On average, a 6 ounce (170 gram) cooked, skinless chicken thigh contains approximately 209 calories.

Calculating Calories in Chicken Thigh

To determine the calories in a cooked chicken thigh, we need to consider a few factors:

  • Weight of the chicken thigh before and after cooking
  • Whether the skin is left on or removed
  • Cooking method used

Let’s look at each of these factors:

Weight of Chicken Thigh

When looking at nutritional information, raw chicken thigh is usually referenced in a standard 6 ounce (170 gram) portion size. Once cooked, a 6 ounce chicken thigh will lose some moisture, reducing its weight. On average, a 6 ounce raw chicken thigh will weigh approximately 5 ounces (140 grams) after cooking. So we can estimate:

  • 6 oz raw chicken thigh = 170 grams
  • 5 oz cooked chicken thigh = 140 grams

Skin On vs Skinless

Chicken skin is high in fat and calories. Leaving the skin on a thigh will significantly increase its calorie content. For example:

  • 6 oz raw chicken thigh with skin = 211 calories
  • 6 oz raw skinless chicken thigh = 176 calories

That’s a difference of 35 calories just from removing the skin!

Cooking Method

How a chicken thigh is cooked can also impact its final calorie content. Dry heat methods like grilling, broiling, roasting, or baking do not add any extra calories. However, cooking methods that use oil or other fats/sauces will increase the calorie count. For example, deep frying chicken thighs can add an extra 70-90 calories per thigh from the oil.

Calories in a Cooked Skinless Chicken Thigh

Now let’s put all this information together to estimate the calories in a typical cooked, skinless chicken thigh:

  • 6 oz raw skinless chicken thigh = approximately 176 calories
  • Remove skin to eliminate excess fat = 0 calories removed
  • Cook with dry heat method = no extra calories added
  • Weighs approximately 5 oz (140 grams) when cooked

So a 5 oz cooked, skinless chicken thigh would contain about 148 calories (176 calories x 0.82).

To get a more precise calorie estimate, we can look at the USDA FoodData Central database. According to their data, a 140 gram skinless, cooked chicken thigh contains 209 calories.

So for a typical 5-6 ounce skinless, cooked chicken thigh, you can expect around 200-210 calories.

Comparing Chicken Thigh to Other Chicken Cuts

How does the calorie content of chicken thigh compare to other popular chicken cuts when skinless and cooked? Here is a quick comparison:

Chicken Cut Calories (6 oz cooked)
Chicken Thigh 209
Chicken Breast 231
Chicken Drumstick 180
Chicken Wing 203

Chicken thigh and drumstick are slightly lower in calories than breast and wing. However, the differences are minor when the skin is removed.

Factors That Impact Chicken Thigh Calories

There are a few factors that can cause the calorie content of a chicken thigh to vary:

Chicken Size

Larger chickens will naturally have larger thighs with more meat and calories:

  • Small broiler-fryer chicken thigh = 176 calories (6 oz raw)
  • Large roaster chicken thigh = 233 calories (6 oz raw)

Cooking Method

As mentioned earlier, frying chicken thighs will add calories from oil, increasing the calorie count significantly:

  • Baked skinless thigh = 209 calories
  • Fried skinless thigh = 284 calories

Breading or Batter

Breading or battering chicken thighs before frying will further increase calories:

  • Fried naked thigh = 284 calories
  • Fried breaded thigh = 326 calories

Sauces and Seasonings

Marinades, spices, and sauces add little calories on their own. However, oil or sugar-based sauces will contribute extra calories:

  • Seasoned with herbs and spices = 209 calories
  • Tossed in BBQ sauce = 259 calories

Nutrition Facts for Cooked Chicken Thigh

Now that we know the calorie content, let’s look at the full nutrition facts for a 140 gram cooked, skinless chicken thigh:

Nutrient Amount % Daily Value
Calories 209 10%
Protein 26.5g 53%
Fat 10.9g 17%
Saturated Fat 3.4g 17%
Cholesterol 140mg 47%
Sodium 110mg 5%
Carbohydrates 0g 0%
Vitamin B6 0.6mg 30%
Vitamin B12 0.7mcg 29%
Selenium 31.6mcg 58%
Zinc 2mg 18%
Iron 1mg 6%

As the nutrition facts show, chicken thigh is high in protein and contains a variety of important vitamins and minerals like B vitamins, selenium, zinc, and iron. It has slightly more fat than chicken breast, but still provides lean protein when the skin is removed.

Health Benefits of Chicken Thigh

Here are some of the top health benefits that chicken thigh offers:

High in Protein

Chicken thigh is an excellent source of protein. Protein provides amino acids that are used for muscle growth and repair, wound healing, and various metabolic functions.

Lower in Saturated Fat

Compared to red meats like beef or pork, chicken thigh is lower in saturated fat when served without skin. Saturated fats are linked to higher cholesterol levels and heart disease risk.

Rich in B Vitamins

Chicken thigh contains a number of important B vitamins like niacin, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12. These assist with energy metabolism and nervous system function.

Good Source of Selenium

Selenium is an antioxidant that may boost immunity, regulate thyroid function, improve fertility in men, and reduce inflammation.

Contains Zinc

Zinc supports the immune system and development. Moderate amounts of zinc are also needed for DNA and protein synthesis.

Low in Sodium

Chicken thigh is relatively low in sodium compared to many processed foods. Limiting sodium intake can help reduce blood pressure in some individuals.

Thigh vs Breast: Which Is Healthier?

With their differences in fat content and texture, some people wonder whether chicken thigh or chicken breast is the healthier option. Here is a brief comparison:

  • Chicken Breast
    • Lower in fat and calories
    • Contains more protein per ounce
    • Can be drier in texture
    • Prone to overcooking
  • Chicken Thigh
    • Higher in fat when skin is left on
    • More tender, moist texture
    • More flavor from fat
    • Less likely to be overcooked

Overall, chicken breast tends to be the leaner choice. But chicken thigh has a juicier texture and offers similar protein when skinless. The healthiest option comes down to personal dietary needs and preferences.

Tips for Preparing Chicken Thigh

Here are some tips for healthy chicken thigh meal prep:

  • Remove the skin after cooking to reduce fat and calories
  • Use dry heat methods like baking, grilling, or roasting
  • Avoid frying or breading to prevent excess calories
  • Flavor with fresh herbs, spices, citrus, vinegars, etc.
  • Opt for low-sodium marinades and dressings
  • Pay attention to portion sizes

Properly cooking chicken thigh helps destroy any potential bacteria while retaining moisture. Chicken thigh can be safely cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F-175°F and checked using a food thermometer.

Healthy Ways to Eat Chicken Thigh

Chicken thigh is versatile enough to be used in all sorts of healthy recipes. Here are some recipe ideas:

  • Mediterranean Baked Chicken Thighs
  • Chicken Thigh Stir Fry with Vegetables
  • Chicken Thigh Tacos with Salsa
  • Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs
  • Chicken Thigh Soup or Stew
  • Curried Chicken Thighs
  • Chicken Thigh Fajitas
  • Chicken Thigh Enchiladas
  • Teriyaki Chicken Thighs

Chicken thigh can be adapted to a wide range of flavor profiles to suit your tastes. Pair it with healthy sides like vegetables, whole grains, beans, or salads.

Simple Healthy Chicken Thigh Recipe

Here is a straightforward recipe for healthy baked chicken thighs:


  • 4 small chicken thighs (5-6 oz each), skin removed
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp each garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Pat chicken thighs dry and brush lightly with olive oil.
  3. Season both sides with garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper.
  4. Place thighs skin-side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Top chicken with lemon slices.
  6. Bake 25-30 minutes until chicken is fully cooked (165°F internal temperature).
  7. Remove lemon slices before serving.

This simple recipe lets the flavor of the chicken thigh shine through. Serve it with your choice of healthy sides for a complete meal.


Are chicken thighs healthier than breasts?

Chicken breasts are leaner and lower in fat and calories than thighs. However, thighs have a more tender texture and contain plenty of protein when skinless. Choosing breast vs thigh comes down to personal dietary needs and taste preferences.

How many calories in boneless, skinless chicken thighs?

A 6 ounce cooked boneless, skinless chicken thigh has around 210 calories. Thighs contain slightly more calories than chicken breast but less than chicken wings or legs when boneless and skinless.

Should I remove the skin from chicken thighs?

Chicken skin adds a lot of fat and calories. Removing the skin slashes the calories in half. Leaving the skin on for added moisture and flavor is fine occasionally, but removing it makes chicken thigh a healthier regular choice.

What’s the healthiest way to cook chicken thighs?

The healthiest cooking methods for chicken thighs are dry heat techniques like baking, grilling, and broiling. These allow the fat to drip away while keeping the chicken moist. Avoid deep frying, which adds a lot of excess calories from oil.

How do I know when chicken thighs are cooked through?

Chicken thighs are safely cooked when they reach an internal temperature of 165-175°F. Cut into a thigh to check that no pink color remains. The juices should run clear rather than red or pink when fully cooked.


A 6 ounce cooked, skinless chicken thigh contains approximately 210 calories and 26 grams of protein, making it a nutritious option. Chicken thigh can be part of a healthy diet when prepared using dry heat cooking without the skin. This versatile and flavorful cut of chicken provides lean protein, B vitamins, selenium, and other important nutrients. Use healthy cooking methods and pair chicken thigh with vegetable sides or salads for satisfying, balanced meals.

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