How many calories in an 8 oz boneless skinless chicken breast?

Chicken breast is one of the most popular lean proteins. Many people enjoy chicken breast because it is low in fat and calories compared to other protein choices. An 8 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast contains around 200 calories, making it an excellent option for those looking to control their calorie intake.

Calories in chicken breast

The exact number of calories in an 8 oz chicken breast can vary slightly depending on a few factors:

  • Cooking method – Frying chicken adds more calories from fat and oil compared to grilling, roasting, or poaching.
  • Brand or supplier – The source and quality of the chicken can affect calorie counts.
  • With or without skin – Chicken skin contains more fat and calories than lean breast meat.
  • Precise weight – An 8 oz chicken breast may contain a few more or less calories than a 7 oz or 9 oz portion.

However, according to the USDA Nutrient Database, the average calorie count for an 8 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast is:

Chicken Breast (8 oz) Calories
Boneless, skinless, roasted 184
Boneless, skinless, grilled 187
Boneless, skinless, boiled 190

As you can see, the number of calories in an average 8 oz chicken breast ranges from 184-190 calories depending on the cooking method. Grilling, roasting, poaching, and boiling chicken without skin are lower calorie cooking methods.

Benefits of chicken breast

Chicken breast is one of the most popular lean proteins for good reason. Here are some of the benefits of adding chicken breast to your diet:

  • High in protein – A 8 oz chicken breast packs around 40 grams of protein. Protein helps keep you feeling fuller for longer and is important for building and repairing muscle tissue.
  • Low in fat – Skinless chicken breast contains only around 3 grams of fat, making it a smart choice for low-fat diets.
  • Low in calories – With just 180-200 calories in an average serving, chicken breast is an excellent option if you’re counting calories.
  • Nutrient-dense – Chicken contains lots of B vitamins, selenium, vitamin B6, and phosphorus.
  • Versatile – Chicken breast can be seasoned, cooked, and paired with endless flavors and ingredients.

Chicken breast is favored by many bodybuilders and dieters because it provides ample protein without all the extra calories and fat that come with higher fat meats. It’s versatility also makes it easy to incorporate into a wide variety of healthy recipes and meal preps.

How many calories you need

When determining how an 8 oz chicken breast fits into your overall diet, it helps to know how many calories you need per day. The number of calories you need each day depends on factors like:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Activity level
  • Goals – maintenance, weight loss, muscle gain, etc.

Here are some general calorie estimates for males and females of different ages and activity levels:

Age Sedentary Moderately Active Active
19-25 Male 2400-2600 calories 2600-2800 calories 3000 calories
19-25 Female 2000-2200 calories 2200-2400 calories 2400-2600 calories
26-35 Male 2200-2400 calories 2400-2600 calories 2800-3000 calories
26-35 Female 1800-2000 calories 2000-2200 calories 2200-2400 calories
36-45 Male 2200-2400 calories 2400-2600 calories 2600-2800 calories
36-45 Female 1600-1800 calories 1800-2000 calories 2000-2200 calories

These are estimates only. Use an online calorie calculator or talk to your doctor to determine your specific calorie needs for your age, sex, activity level, and physique goals.

Incorporating chicken breast into your diet

Here are some tips for getting that lean 8 oz chicken breast into your diet:

  • Make it the star of your dinner – Chicken breast works great as the main protein for dinner. Some easy meals are chicken tacos, chicken salad, or chicken pasta.
  • Add it to salads – Slice or cube cooked chicken breast to add to lettuce salads or grain bowls for a protein punch.
  • Enjoy it at breakfast – Shredded chicken goes well in morning scrambles, omelets, and breakfast burritos.
  • Keep it on hand for snacks – Pre-cooked chicken breast is a great high protein snack between meals.
  • Pair it with veggies – Chicken and veggies go hand-in-hand. Enjoy chicken alongside roasted broccoli, greens, cauliflower rice, etc.
  • Get creative with seasonings – Chicken breast takes well to all types of flavors. Try Italian, Mexican, Greek, or other herb/spice rubs or marinades.

Chicken breast is so versatile that it can be adapted to any meal plan or dietary preferences like vegetarian, clean eating, paleo, etc. Just customize the preparation and seasoning to suit your taste.

Sample meal plan with 8 oz chicken breast

Here is a sample 2000 calorie meal plan incorporating an 8 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast for dinner:

Meal Foods Calories
Breakfast Oatmeal (1 cup cooked) with blueberries, milk, cinnamon 350
Snack 1 medium apple with 1 tbsp peanut butter 210
Lunch Turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread with lettuce, tomato, mustard 450
Snack 1 oz almonds 165
Dinner 8 oz chicken breast seasoned and grilled, 1 cup roasted broccoli and carrots, 1/2 cup brown rice 525
Snack Nonfat Greek yogurt with berries 120
Total 1820

This plan provides around 1800 calories including the lean 8 oz chicken breast for dinner, along with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats to meet nutritional needs.

Chicken recipes with 8 oz chicken breast

Here are some delicious recipes for making an 8 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast the star of your meal:

Lemon Garlic Chicken with Broccoli


  • 8 oz chicken breast
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups broccoli florets


  1. Season chicken breasts with salt, pepper, oregano, 1 tbsp olive oil, and half the garlic. Grill until cooked through, about 6-8 minutes per side.
  2. Meanwhile, toss broccoli with remaining olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Roast at 375°F until tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Serve chicken topped with lemon juice and roasted broccoli on the side.

Chicken Fajitas


  • 8 oz chicken breast, sliced into strips
  • 1 tablespoon fajita seasoning
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 whole wheat tortillas
  • Toppings like salsa, guacamole, shredded lettuce, etc.


  1. Coat chicken in fajita seasoning. Grill until cooked through, about 6 minutes per side.
  2. Saute peppers and onions in olive oil for 3-5 minutes until softened.
  3. Slice chicken and mix with veggies. Serve in tortillas with desired toppings.

Chicken Parmesan over Zucchini Noodles


  • 8 oz chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • 2 zucchinis, spiralized into noodles
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • Italian seasoning


  1. Season chicken with Italian seasoning, then grill or bake until cooked through.
  2. Meanwhile, spiralize zucchini into noodles and lightly steam until just tender.
  3. Top zucchini noodles with chicken, marinara sauce and Parmesan cheese.

These recipes highlight creative and delicious ways to cook up an 8 oz chicken breast for dinner. Adjust seasonings and accompaniments to suit your personal taste.

Chicken breast nutrition facts

Here is the full nutrition breakdown for an 8 oz serving of boneless, skinless chicken breast:

Nutrient Amount % Daily Value
Calories 184 9%
Fat 3 g 5%
Saturated fat 1 g 3%
Trans fat 0 g 0%
Cholesterol 85 mg 28%
Sodium 74 mg 3%
Carbohydrates 0 g 0%
Fiber 0 g 0%
Sugar 0 g 0%
Protein 40 g 80%

As you can see, chicken breast is especially high in lean protein, while being very low in carbs, sugar, fat and sodium. It provides ample protein without all the add-ons that come with high fat meats like steak or pork.

Cooking and preparing chicken breast

These tips will help you cook a flavorful and juicy 8 oz chicken breast every time:

  • Pound the chicken first to evenly flatten it into a uniform thickness. This will help it cook faster and more evenly.
  • Don’t overcook it. Chicken dries out if cooked too long. Use a meat thermometer to determine when the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
  • Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes after cooking before cutting into it. This allows the juices to redistribute evenly.
  • Add flavor with herbs, spices, citrus, sauces, etc. Plain chicken breast can be bland so season it well.
  • Try different cooking methods like grilling, baking, sautéing, or using an air fryer or instant pot.

Properly preparing an 8 oz chicken breast will help ensure it stays tender and juicy while still cooking safely to the proper internal temperature.

Common questions

Is chicken breast good for weight loss?

Yes, chicken breast is an excellent food for weight loss diets. It provides plenty of filling protein with minimal calories and fat. This makes it useful for creating a calorie deficit.

Is chicken breast considered lean protein?

Skinless, boneless chicken breast is considered a lean protein. Lean proteins contain less than 10 grams of fat per serving and are optimal choices for healthy diets.

How long does an 8 oz chicken breast take to bake?

An 8 oz chicken breast typically takes 18-22 minutes to bake at 425°F. Use a meat thermometer to check that it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.

Can I freeze cooked chicken breast?

Yes, cooked chicken breast freezes well for later use. Let it cool completely before freezing in an airtight container for up to 4 months.

What’s the healthiest way to cook chicken breast?

Grilling, roasting, baking, and poaching chicken breasts are healthy cooking methods. Avoid frying in oil to minimize added calories and fat.


An 8 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast provides about 180 calories and 40 grams of protein, making it a lean, versatile protein source. Chicken breast can be incorporated into all types of healthy recipes and meal plans. Keep an eye on portion sizes and use healthy cooking methods like baking, grilling or poaching to take advantage of the many benefits of chicken breast.

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