How Many Pieces of Chicken Per Person? Charts Included

how many pieces of chicken per person
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Calculating the amounts of ingredients you will need is key when you are cooking, be it for family, friends, or in a restaurant. This saves you time, effort, and most importantly, money. This is especially true for dishes that include meat. So, when it comes to chicken-based dishes, how many pieces of chicken do you need per person?

On average, you need 1 large piece of chicken (breast halve, thigh or drumstick) per person if the meat is part of a larger dish. If you were serving chicken fries, you would require 2-3 pieces of thighs or drumsticks per person or 6 pieces per individual in the case of chicken wings.

Different recipes call for different amounts of chicken and different parts of the chicken. So, in this article, we are going to look at some of the more popular chicken dishes and see how much meat you need for each of them. This article will also cover what part of the chicken is best suited for a particular dish. 

And as a bonus, we will discuss some options for side dishes that will pair deliciously with chicken. 

How Much Chicken Do You Need Per Person?

How much meat you will require for a serving depends on several factors, the most important of which is the dish you are planning on making. If the dish has multiple sides and/or another meat source, the amount of chicken meat required will decrease. Conversely, if the chicken is the main star of the show, then you will need more of it to fully feed one person.

Then you are going to have to consider how many people you are intending on serving. The number of servings the recipe yields is the number of you people you can feed with that dish on average. So, calculate how much meat you need for one serving and then you multiply that with the total number of people you have to feed.

Seeing as how the amount varies on the type of dish you are making, we are going to look at some popular chicken-based dishes individually and see how much meat you will require in each case. 

Remember that these numbers are not set in stone. You can always add more or less depending on your situation. But they can help you make a more calculated estimation.

Chicken parmesan1 breast halves2 breast halves3 breast halves4 breast halves5 breast halves10 breast halves50 breast halves100 breast halves
Chicken wings6 (whole wings)12 (whole wings)18 (whole wings)24 (whole wings)30 (whole wings)60 (whole wings)300 (whole wings)600 (whole wings)
Roasted chicken1/6 whole chicken1/3 whole chicken1/2 (whole chicken) 2/3 whole chicken1 whole chicken2 whole chickens10 whole chickens20 whole chickens
Sweet & sour chicken1 breast halve1-1.5 breast halves2 breast halves3 breast halves4 breast halves8 breast halves40 breast halves80 breast halves
Butter chicken½ breast halve1 breast halves1 and ½ breast halves2 breast halves2 and ½ breast halves5 breast halves25 breast halves50 breast halves
Chili chicken1 breast halve2 breast halves3 breast halves4 breast halves5 breast halves 10 breast halves50 breast halves100 breast halves

Chicken Parmesan

One of the tastiest ways of enjoying chicken is pairing it up with parmesan cheese. And for this recipe, you are going to know how much chicken per person you need. Each breast halve is going to be deep-fried in oil, coated in cheese and other toppings, and then baked in an oven. And you are going to need one breast halves per person.

So, you will need one chicken breast, preferably skinless and boneless, per serving. If you were cooking for 4 people, you require 4 breast halves in total, if you make it for 8 people, then 8 breasts halves is what you will need, and so on. 

Chicken Wings

Chicken wings are great for hangouts or at sports venues. And a great thing about eating wings is that you can pretty much eat as many pieces as you can to fill your stomach. But at the same time, this can make it difficult to estimate the correct portions.

But as a general rule, you need at least 6 whole chicken wings per person. Remember, one whole chicken wing will give you two pieces when you are making fried wings – flats and drumettes. So, 6 whole chicken wings will yield you 12 pieces of wings. This is the ideal amount for serving chicken wings as an appetizer. 

Chili Chicken

Chili chicken is typically made with breast pieces. Normally, you require at least one entire breast halve for a single serving. This means that to cook for 4 people, you would need at least 4 breast halves. The breast pieces would then need to be cut into smaller, bite-size chunks and cooked.

Chicken Noodles

Chicken noodles is another dish where you need to slice the meat up into smaller bits. And similar to chili chicken, the breast piece is often the preferred part. This is because the breast is mostly meat and it is softer compared to meat on the thighs or drumsticks.

If you use an entire breast, you can cook noodles for 2 servings. This means that for a single serving, you would need half of one chicken breast.

Roasted Chicken

Usually, roasted chicken is a dish made for the holidays where you take the whole chicken and roast or grill it. This takes a lot of time, normally the entire day trying to marinate and cook the chicken properly. 

So, how much chicken per person do you need? The average whole chicken will weigh around 3 pounds and this will give you enough meat to serve 6 people. So, a single person or serving will require one 1/6 of the entire chicken roughly. If the size of the chicken is bigger, you can serve more people with one whole roasted chicken.

Butter Chicken

Butter chicken is one of the most popular curry dishes around the world, especially in Asian countries. Butter chicken works best with breast meat, as it is readily available with the skin and bones removed. This makes it easier to cut the meat into bite-size pieces for the curry.

You can make a serving for 4 from 16 oz of boneless chicken meat. To get this amount, you would need roughly 2 large chicken breast halves, each weighing around 8 oz. If the breast sizes are smaller, around 6 oz, you would need 3 breast halves. So, for a single person, you would need half of a chicken breast or slightly more. 

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Sweet and sour chicken is another classical chicken dish that is a delightful combination of flavors. And once again, chicken breasts are the ideal choice for this recipe, which you need to cut into small cubes beforehand.


Sweet Chicken and Spinach Bowl [Recipe]

You can use approximately 1 or ¾ of chicken breast halves to create a single serving of sweet and sour chicken. In addition, 1 and ½ pounds of chicken breast (boneless and skinless) can be enough to create a serving of 4. So, for 4 people, you would require 3 to 4 breast halves, depending on the size of the poultry. 

How Many Pieces of Chicken Per Person?

The number of fried chickens you need per person will depend on the size of the individual piece as well as which part of the chicken the piece is from. For example, a breast piece without bone and skin will weigh the same as 1 thigh piece with the bones in. But the breast piece will obviously have more meat, so they can feed more.

In contrast, the wings have the least amount of meat per piece. So, if you were ordering or making fried wings, you need significantly more pieces per serving. For instance, if you designate 1-2 breast pieces per person, you need 6-7 whole chicken wings to replicate the same quantity.

You also need to consider what situation you are going to serve the chicken in. If they are just the appetizers, you can probably serve 1 thigh or 1 breast per individual. If they are the main course for dinner or a group hangout, then you need to consider at least 3 pieces per individual. Remember it is better to have some spare than being found wanting. 

No. of peopleNo. of thighsNo. of breastNo. of drumsticks

How Many Pieces Are in a Chicken?

Typically, you can cut a whole chicken into 8 large, usable pieces. These pieces are 2 drumsticks, 2 thighs, 2 breast halves, and 2 wings. Now, if you cut each of the breasts halves into 2 pieces to make them more manageable for cooking, you will end up with 10 pieces per chicken.

how many pieces of chicken per person

Of course, you can get more pieces if you cut them into smaller pieces. This will depend largely on the recipe you are making. For dishes such as noodles, sizzling, butter chicken, etc., you have to cut the meat into bite-size pieces. So, you will end up with a lot more than just 8 pieces. 

Also, the size of the chicken will determine how many pieces you will want to cut. The larger the meat, the longer it will take to cook. They are also harder to marinate and handle when frying or boiling. So, cutting them into smaller pieces makes everything more manageable. This will obviously give you more than 8 pieces. 

But the traditional 8-piece cut is useful as it divides the chicken into categories. You can use the thighs and drumsticks for frying. Whereas the breasts can be cut into smaller pieces for making nuggets and stir fry. 

No. of People102050
No. of whole chicken2-34-610-15

How Much Chicken for Chicken Salad?

You can use 1 cup of chopped chicken breast for a chicken salad recipe that will yield 3-4 servings. 1 cup of chicken breast is roughly an entire chicken breast halves. So, you need 1 breast for 3-4 servings of salad.

Remember that chicken salad is usually accompanied by many other ingredients. So, you do not need as much meat as you would in a roasted chicken or chili chicken recipe.

What to Serve With Chicken?

Pairing a chicken meal with an appropriate side dish is the perfect way to enhance the experience, especially for things like roasted or fried chicken. So, here are some terrific ideas for side dishes:

  • Toasted herb rice
  • Tangy potato salad
  • Watermelon cucumber feta salad
  • Classic mashed potatoes with cheese
  • Garlic and Parmesan Sautéed Zucchini
  • Sautéed Brussels Sprouts

How Much Chicken Thigh Per Person?

If you are making fried chicken thighs, then you need 2-3 pieces per person for a full meal or 1 piece per serving for a simple appetizer. If you plan on using the thigh as part of a dish such as butter chicken or noodles, you need at least 1 boneless, skinless thigh per serving.

How Many Chicken Wings Per Person?

As a general rule, you need 6 whole chicken wings per person, be it fried or grilled. You can cut one whole wing into 2 pieces – drumettes and flats – which will result in 12 pieces per person.

How Many Pounds of Chicken Per Person?

If meat is the main part of the meal, you will need 50 to 75 pounds of chicken for a gathering of 100 people. If the chicken is only part of a side dish, then you can work with 25 to 30 pounds of meat for the same number of people, meaning an individual serving would require ¼ pounds of chicken.


Chicken is an essential component of so many dishes and part of so many people’s diets. So, knowing the proper proportions of chicken you would need for a given dish is hugely beneficial in making a satisfying and tasty meal. This is especially if you need to defrost chicken first. In that case, you need to know how much chicken to thaw. Just be careful how long your thawed chicken lasts. In other words, keep it refrigerated and use it within two days.

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