If a recipe calls for 2 1/2 cups of shredded chicken, is that the same as 20 ounces? I'm always confused when it comes to dry ingredient measurements in recipes. Can I simply just convert each cup to 8 ounces?

  • If a recipe calls for 2 1/2 cups of shredded chicken, I typically throw the recipe away as it shows incompetence by the author.
    – Rob
    Jul 29, 2019 at 12:23

2 Answers 2


In general you can't convert volume measures (like cups) into mass measures (like ounces) without taking into account the specific thing you're measuring, because different substances will have different densities in a cup.

If you search online you can find conversions for different common food items but these vary. The website CookItSimply provides a conversion for cooked chopped chicken as 1 cup to 4.4oz; the website FreeFoodTips gives 5.22oz; TraditionalOven.com gives 4.94oz. Note that these are cooked weights, and chicken changes weight as it's cooked.

However, a recipe that incorporates shredded chicken isn't likely to be very sensitive to the exact quantity so I would take the recipe as just giving an indication of the rough amount of chicken to use: think of the amount that would fit in 2.5 cups and go for roughly that amount.


Conversion from volume to weight or vice-versa is different for all foods, so there is no standard rule. One cup to eight ounces only works for foods with the same density as water (it is a reasonable approximation for most liquids e.g. vinegar, milk, wine).

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/ has a printable chart of dozens of foods and weights of different amounts in ounces.

  • 1
    While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes. - From Review
    – Divi
    Jul 28, 2019 at 23:50
  • Grace Hsui, pastry chef and author of everybunnyeats.com, says according to the United States Department of Agriculture Food Composition Database, 1 cup of fried or roasted chicken weighs about 5 ounces. This may vary depending on the size of the chicken pieces and how tightly packed they are in the cup. When I went to that Food Composition Database, I did not find a direct way to find this information. I would use 5 oz as the weight of 1 cup of chicken meat. Jul 29, 2019 at 0:08

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