Chicken vs. Shrimp: Which One Wins the Health Battle?

Chicken vs Shrimp

Chicken vs. Shrimp: Which One Wins the Health Battle?

There is no denying it when it comes to chicken and shrimp; they are both excellent for your health. However, while adding either of these meats to your diet will do you a world of good, there are some fundamental differences between the two. Chicken and shrimp have different tastes, textures, cooking methods, costs, and nutrients. This post will explore the main differences, the nutritional value, and which one wins the health battle. Read on for more information on chicken versus shrimp! 

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Chicken vs. Shrimp: What Are the Differences?

Apart from the apparent difference, one is poultry, and the other is a crustacean, there are more distinctions between these two delicious protein-packed types of meat. The first difference between chicken and shrimp is the taste and texture. Both chicken and shrimp come from the meat of an animal, or in shrimp's case, a crustacean. The taste of the meat can sometimes be flat; this is one reason so many people experiment with seasoning and sauces. The texture of a chicken is chewier and firmer than shrimp. Shrimp is also firm; however, easier to chew than chicken. Shrimp also is sweeter than chicken. Therefore, whether you like eating shrimp or chicken honestly depends on your taste buds.

Another difference between shrimp and chicken is the cost of the two. At the grocery store, you will be met with various chicken options, legs, drums, breasts, and more. However, on average, chicken costs around $1.83 per pound. Shrimp, on the other hand, is the more expensive of the two options. The price will vary depending on what type of shrimp you buy, whether it is fresh or frozen, and the store's location. On average, shrimp costs anywhere between six dollars to $31. Therefore, chicken is the best choice if you want a cost-effective protein. 

Cooking Methods

Another difference between shrimp and chicken is the cooking methods between the two. There are so many options when it comes to cooking these two protein-packed types of meat; some of these options include:

  • Baking
  • Pan-frying
  • Air-frying
  • Grilling
  • Broiling
  • Sauteeing 

These are just some fantastic ways to enjoy chicken and shrimp. When it comes to cooking methods, there are some similarities. They are both versatile and can be cooked in a variety of ways. The time it takes to cook shrimp and chicken will vary, though. Shrimp takes less time to cook than chicken. It makes an effortless and quick dinner if you are in a pinch. Chicken can take up to 20-30 minutes before the meal, depending on your recipe. 

Beef and chicken meat, fish and shrimps. Animal protein food sources
Animal protein is an excellent way to take in important nutrients your body needs.

©Yulia Furman/Shutterstock.com

Chicken vs. Shrimp Nutritional Value

Now that we have covered many differences between shrimp and chicken let's look at another difference, nutritional value. When it comes to nutritional similarities, there are plenty. Both shrimp and chicken are packed with protein. If you look up any cookbook, the healthiest foods typically consist of shrimp or chicken. There's a reason for this! The rich nutrients you provide your body with when you eat chicken or shrimp can be hard to beat. However, which one has more protein? The clear winner of the protein battle is chicken. Chicken has 26 grams of protein in three ounces, while shrimp only has 16 grams. 

Another reason both types of meat make the healthy recipe lists is the low-fat content in each one. When it comes to who has the least amount of fat, the answer is shrimp, but not by much. Chicken contains 3.5 grams of fat, while shrimp contains 1.5. Additionally, there are more health benefits to both chicken and shrimp. Take a look below at the differences. 

Chicken vs Shrimp Nutritional Facts


Can You Substitute Chicken for Shrimp?

Are you asking yourself which one is better to eat? Chicken or shrimp? The truth is, both offer nutritionally excellent benefits that can be hard to beat. However, when it comes to calories, shrimp is lower, and they both are very healthy for you! Can you substitute one for the other? The short answer is yes. It all depends on your personal preference. However, many recipes would allow you to replace chicken with shrimp or shrimp with chicken; you would need to adjust your cook time. Another added benefit is that these meats are delicious with varied sauces and seasonings. Therefore, you can use the same sauce if you need to! For example, shrimp can easily and deliciously replace chicken in chicken alfredo without much effort.

What are Substitutes for Shrimp?

Some people do not like shrimp but still want the same health benefits it offers. If so, you can substitute shrimp for another protein-packed meat. A few of these meats include lobster, chicken, and even fish. If you do not eat meat or do not like fish, there are still more options! You can try your hand at eating oyster mushrooms or even tofu. Both of these give similar health benefits and omit the meat altogether. 

What are Substitutes for Chicken?

Although chicken has many health benefits, there are also more options! If you are growing tired of eating chicken or want to try something else, you could try lean beef, ground turkey, pork, or lamb. While chicken is preferable, these substitutes are still excellent choices that offer plenty of nutritional value. If you do not eat meat or want to try something meatless, tofu, beans, nuts, and sweet potatoes are all fantastic options filled with nutrients like proteins, fiber, potassium, or healthy carbohydrates. They are all low in fat and calories and make excellent substitutes for chicken. 

What is Shrimp?

Now that we have discussed the difference between shrimp and chicken let's talk briefly about each. Shrimp comes from the ocean and is a crustacean. Crustaceans are an arthropod; this means they have an exoskeleton and segmented body with appendages. They are grouped with crabs, lobsters, crayfish, krill, and barnacles. When it comes to eating shrimp, some people love them, and others do not share the love. However, shrimp often requires an acquired taste because they have a unique texture like other fish. 

You can find shrimp in all oceans and also in lakes and creeks. They also can be found in deep water and shallow water. Shrimp are versatile and can be cooked in various ways, making them excellent in many dishes, such as shrimp scampi, tacos, or salad. 

Grilled tiger shrimps with spice and lemon. Grilled seafood.
Shrimp is a delicious protein that can be cooked in various ways, making it versatile.


What is Chicken?

Chicken is poultry that is typically raised on a farm. It is a bird that is versatile, and humans use them in a variety of ways. One of the benefits of raising chickens or having access to them is the eggs they produce. Eggs are also very high in protein and excellent for your diet. Another purpose that chickens serve is with their meat. Chickens are also excellent at keeping bugs and insects from destroying your gardens and yards and can fertilize your lawn! 

Raw chicken breasts and spices on wooden cutting board, close up view
Chicken contains plenty of protein, iron, zinc, and much more, making it a healthy alternative to many different types of meat.


In Conclusion

Infographic comparing chicken and shrimp.
If you're trying to avoid eating meat, shrimp is a great alternative to chicken.
  • Chicken is higher in calories and fat compared to shrimp. Chicken does, however, have more protein than shrimp.
  • Surprisingly perhaps, shrimp actually has more cholesterol than chicken.
  • Chicken is known for its relatively mild and neutral flavor that pairs well with so many different sauces and seasonings. Shrimp has a sweeter flavor than chicken, but still has the ability to pair well with many different seasonings and sauces.

Regarding the health battle, which one wins, chicken or shrimp? Both chicken and shrimp are excellent protein sources and necessary nutrients like iron, zinc, and vitamin b12. They are versatile and can be cooked in many ways with delicious sauces and seasonings. When it comes to calories, shrimp wins, and when it comes to protein, chicken wins. The rest comes down to personal preference because both protein-packed types of meat are delicious, versatile, and great for your health! 

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Shrimp Recipes

Chicken Recipes

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Week Six Menu

Baked Chicken Nuggets

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  • Author: Moms Who Think


  • 3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Cut chicken breasts into one-and-one-half-inch size pieces.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, cheese, salt, thyme and basil. Mix well.
  4. Put melted butter/margarine in a bowl or dish for dipping.
  5. Dip chicken pieces into the melted butter/margarine first, then coat with the breadcrumb mixture.
  6. Place well coated chicken pieces on a lightly greased cookie sheet in a single layer, and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
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