Can You Eat Chicken On Lent Or Is It Sin?

Lent is a period set apart to remember the fasting Jesus embarked on before his triumphant entry into Jerusalem. If you wish to partake in this program, you might want to enquire more about what you can eat.

If you’re reading this article, I believe you’re an unrepentant chicken lover and you want to know if you can eat chicken during Lent.

So, here it is. All forms of meat, which include chicken, pork, beef, lamb, deer, and ham, are to be abstained from during Lent.

If you want to know more about Lent, the laws and obligations, what you ought to abstain from, and what you can eat, then read on.

What is Lent?

Lent is a period of fasting that celebrates the remembrance of the 40 days and 40 nights of fasting of Jesus Christ. This event also marks his triumphant entry into Jerusalem, although it is not obligatory for all Christians.

But to Catholic Christians, Lent is one of the most important periods of the year. During this period, all Christians above 14 years abstain from eating meat and certain other foods on specific days.

According to St. Thomas Aquinas (one of the world’s well-renowned Catholic priests), the following are the benefits of participating in Lent:

  • Builds your spiritual life
  • Atonement of sin
  • Suppresses the lust of the flesh
  • Fasting empowers your prayer life
  • Build self-control.

Can you eat chicken on lent?

No, you can’t. Meat is the flesh of any warm-blooded mammal or bird such as pork, cow, deer, chicken, turkey, etc. Following this definition, it is quite obvious that chicken is considered meat and should be avoided during Lent.

However, it is okay to eat food that was cooked with chicken broth. This is because the broth is not the same as the meat from the chicken.

Are there chicken alternatives you can try instead?

Yes, there are. Some alternative to chicken and other kinds of meat includes:

1. Tempeh

Tempeh is one of the closest alternatives to chicken but it is made of soybeans. It has a light brown color similar to that of chicken, and people often say it reminds them of chicken breast.

2. Tofu

Tofu contains a high amount of protein, iron, and potassium, all of which meat offers. It comes in a variety of shape, sizes, and texture that resembles meat.

3. Unripe jackfruit

People often associate the taste of unripe jackfruit with that of pork, and this is because it has a similar meaty and savory taste that mimics that of pork.

4. Lentils

Lentils are another healthy meat alternative, and they are particularly high in protein, fiber, and vitamins. Also, low in fat, folate, phosphorus, and potassium.

Can you eat fish on Lent?

Yes, you can. There have been many confusing theories about eating fish on Lent. But according to the United State Conference of Catholic Bishops, fish is considered a different category of animal.

They further clarified that meat is considered the flesh of animals that lives on land, and these animals include chicken, pork, deer, cow, and sheep.

Can you eat eggs on Lent?

Yes, you can. Eggs are not meat. Even though they are gotten from chickens, they are not fertilized and cannot be real chickens. Eggs are best classified as proteins.

Which food can you eat during Lent?

  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Milk, butter, yogurt, cheese, and other milk products
  • Vegetables or salads
  • Noodle, bread, donuts, and other grains
  • Fruits
  • Shrimp skewers
  • Chips
  • Pear Bruschetta
  • Veggie pizza
  • Ratatouille
  • Pasta

What are the laws associated with Lent and fasting in general?

Now that you are well enlightened about the benefits of Lent fasting, let us see the laws associated with this prestigious event;

1. You are obliged to fast on Ash Wednesday and Fridays during the Lent period

All participants from ages 14 – 60 are expected to engage in the fasting program. However, you may be exempted on the grounds of health challenges. The church has set these days of fasting to be on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Although, the law still allows individuals to eat light meals in the morning and late in the evening. This law also permits liquids, such as tea, coffee, juice, and milk which do not violate the fasting rules.

2. You are obliged to abstain from flesh meat

All Catholic members are prohibited from eating meat or the flesh of animals, and this includes cows, deer, goats, pigs, etc.

Who is exempted from fasting on Lent?

For most people, fasting may have some severe effects on them, so they are mostly exempted. Some of these people include:

  • Elders above age 60
  • Children below the age of 14
  • Pregnant or nursing mothers
  • Sick or frail individuals
  • Mentally impaired individuals.


Can you eat turkey gravy on Lent?

Yes, you can. Because turkey gravy is made from turkey stock and not the actual flesh of the animal.

Do you have to abstain from meat for the whole Lent period?

No, you don’t. Only Ash Wednesdays and Fridays are designated for abstaining from meat.

Is chicken white or red meat?

Chicken and all other poultry are considered white meat.

Do you have to go the whole day without eating during Lent?

No, you don’t. You can eat one whole meal and two light meals, as long as your total intake is less than two complete meals.


All kinds of meat are prohibited during the Lent period, whether pork, beef, deer, or chicken. Moreover, Lent is not compulsory for all Christians. But, if your faith requires that you observe Lent, there are benefits involved.

Although you should not eat chicken and other types of meat during Lent, you can eat any of the healthy alternatives listed in the article to make your meals hearty and tasty.

Thank you for reading this article.

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