Whether you’re buying chicken to plan meals for the week or to cook for a crowd, this post will explain how much chicken per person to purchase or serve.
And while the amount will depend on the cut of chicken and the occasion you’re cooking for, this post takes it all into consideration to help you figure out how much.
How Much Chicken Is a Serving?
According to the USDA My Plate program, the recommended daily intake of lean cooked poultry is 5 ½ to 6 ounces for adults and teens and 2 to 4 ounces for smaller children.
If you’re eating chicken twice a day, this is roughly two 3.5-ounce portions or one 6-ounce serving.
I like to treat the USDA recommendations as a guideline while being flexible to different factors such as recipe type and the people being served.
How Much Chicken to Cook Per Person
The amount of chicken to cook per person depends on whether it’s the main dish or a part of the meal.
If chicken is the main entree, like these pan-seared chicken breasts, you can plan on 4 to 6 ounces per person.
It can also vary based on the number of side dishes you plan to serve.
If chicken is being added to pasta or stew, then you might not need a generous amount. In these cases 3 to 4 ounces per person is plenty.
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*The following serving amounts are based on the average cut of chicken but keep in mind the sizes can drastically vary. Some cuts will be much larger and yield more than the suggested 4 to 6 ounces of cooked meat. You can check the weight of the package and go from there, or if you need specific amounts get chicken from behind the meat counter.
How Many Chicken Thighs Per Person
The average 4.5-ounce chicken thigh has about 3 ounces worth of meat, so two thighs per person is a good number. If you are serving smaller children or appetites, one thigh should be enough.
2 chicken thighs per adult | 1 chicken thigh per child
Need a no-fail chicken thigh recipe? Try my juicy Oven-Baked Chicken Thighs are the bomb!
How Many Chicken Breasts Per Person
Anywhere from 4 to 6 ounces of boneless, skinless chicken breasts is enough for one adult and half that amount for kids.
Most people are used to being served a single chicken breast on a plate; and while some pieces are cut into a 6-ounce portion, others can be up to 10 ounces in weight!
One thing to try with the larger chicken breast pieces when you want to serve a breast-shaped piece of chicken is to butterfly the chicken breast. This creates two equally sized portions out of one large breast.
If you’re making my juicy baked chicken breasts you’re definitely going to want a little more than a 4-ounce serving, and that’s perfectly okay.
Boneless Skinless Chicken breasts:
4 to 6 ounces per adult | 4 ounces per child
If you plan on cooking split chicken breasts, which come with the bone in and skin on, these have about 12 ounces worth of meat since they include the underside of the breast and part of the rib meat.
Bone-In Split breasts:
8 ounces per adult | 6 ounces per child
Split breasts are larger and are great for cooking chicken in bulk to make a batch of shredded chicken for soups, tacos, and pasta.
How Many Chicken Legs Per Person
There are two types of chicken legs: drumsticks and leg quarters. Drumsticks are about 4 ounces with skin on and bone-in, with 1 ½ ounces of meat, so two per person is a good amount or up to three for larger appetites.
2 drumsticks per adults | 1 drumstick per child
Chicken leg quarters include both the drumstick and thigh, and have about 6 ounces worth of meat. So one leg quarter per person is perfect.
1 chicken leg quarter per person
How Many Chicken Wings Per Person
If chicken wings are the main dish for dinner or tailgating, plan on 6 per adult and 2 per child. If they are an appetizer, 3 wings are sufficient. Need a good sauce to coat those wings? My easy homemade buffalo sauce is just the recipe!
6 chicken wings per adult | 3 chicken wings per child
3-4 chicken wings per adult | 1-2 chicken wing per child
Chicken Serving Size Chart
Not sure which chicken piece you’ll need to buy? Here is a great chart to reference for all cuts of chicken.
|Leg Quarters||1 pc||½-1pc|