Veins In Chicken Breast: Are They Safe To Eat?

What is the vein in a chicken breast? Every breast of chicken has veins, but they’re more easily spotted in chicken breasts than in other types of chicken. It is more typical to find veins in the meat of chicken that have been simmered on the bones. The veins found in chicken meat don’t need to be removed, but you can remove them if you wish!

Chicken breast is a popular protein favorite and flexible chicken cuts.

This succulent and delicious cut of meat is included in a tonne of recipes across the world due to its succulent, delicious taste.

If you’re trying to get the most out of your freshly cooked chicken breasts, read on for more information!

Key Overview

  • Veins in chicken meat are normal and generally not something to worry about.
  • The vein appears in the vicinity of the tendon that runs across the chicken breast and separates the tenderloin from the upper meat of the breast.
  • Veins found in meat are more common in hard-working muscles like the wings and legs.
  • Veins may be more noticeable in chicken cooked on the bone or when exposed to heat, which alters the color of the meat to purple.
  • The veins inside the chicken breast are completely safe to consume once the chicken is cooked to the right temperature.
  • To remove veins from chicken breasts, one can purchase boneless chicken or ask the butcher to take them out. Locate the cartilage and carefully remove the connective tissue and veins to cut the veins.

Is It Normal For Chicken Breasts To Have Veins?

If you’re looking at cooked or raw chicken It can be frightening to notice the red, pink, or even deep purple lines running through the chicken.

After all the years of being warned of the dangers of eating raw or pink poultry meat should we be concerned when we spot something that appears to be an artery in the breast of our chicken?

Veins in chicken meat are normal and generally not something to worry about. There are veins in all of us which run through our muscle tissues – this is how our muscle cells get their blood supply!

Veins in raw chicken breasts. Credit: Shutterstock
Veins in raw chicken breasts. Credit: Shutterstock

The muscle’s veins tend to flow near the bone or in between sections of muscle. Therefore, you might notice the vein most prominently in most chicken breasts. It runs through the inner part of the breast and close to the bone.

The chicken’s breast is typically consumed as chicken tenders because it’s the most tender and delicious portion of the chicken’s breast.

When you’re carving the breast of a chicken typically, you’ll find a line about two-thirds the length of the slice of meat, which separates tenderloin from the upper meat of the breast.

The last part of the tender chicken is a tendon that forms an elongated line across the meat. It is not noticeable until it’s cooked as it softens and blends into the meat.

It is in the vicinity of this tendon that you’ll typically find the appearance of a vein on the chicken breast.

On most occasions, we don’t observe this vein after the meat has been cooked. It may alter the color of the meat but it’ll have minimal impact on the taste.

Do All Chicken Breasts Have Veins?

You might have cooked chicken breasts for years but have never noticed a vein in the meat.

One day, you discover an eerie red vein running through the chicken breast that you prepare. Then, why are we seeing veins in certain chicken breasts but not in other breasts?

It’s all in the size of the vein and also how the meat is cut. Every chicken has this vein, but it might appear barely noticeable.

There are times when we don’t notice the vein until the chicken has been cooked! This is due to the reaction that occurs when the hemoglobin that is in the veins is exposed to temperatures.

It results in a change of hue to purple, making it more noticeable in contrast to the white breast meat.

Veins found in meat are more common in muscles that are hard-working like the wings and legs. They are not as common in breast meat, yet they still exist.

It is also more likely to notice veins in the meat of your chicken when you’ve cooked it on a bone. This is due to changes that happen between hemoglobin that is found in blood vessels and the bone marrow.

Most butchers are able to expertly take a chicken breast away from the bone and leave the veins.

Is It Safe To Eat Chicken Veins?

Although they could appear unappealing – the veins inside the chicken breast are safe to consume.

Every time we eat meat the muscle tissue is stuffed with tiny veins, which are referred to as capillaries. We’ve been eating them for many years with no issues whatsoever!

The vein we’re all worried about is actually a bigger version of the capillaries.

Since the blood has been gone from the chicken once it’s butchered so we don’t have to be concerned about the blood in the veins that could be contaminating our meat.

There is one warning in this case – always ensure the chicken is cooked to perfection.

The presence of veins in the chicken breast could result in a color change in the chicken’s meat making it red, pink as well as purple.

Pink meat is typically an indication of a chicken that is not cooked properly So you must discover other methods to verify the chicken’s cooked.

If you own a meat thermometer, you can use it to measure the temperature inside the meat. Food safety experts advise that chickens and other types of poultry be cooked to 165°F.

A safe temperature to cook chicken at is 180degF when cooking the whole bird and 165degF for pieces of chicken.

Without a meat thermometer, the only way to determine if a chicken is cooked is by observing the hue of the juices that emerge from the meat. The meat is pierced at the thickest point and then looks at the color of the juices as they appear.

If the juices are clear, then the meat is ready to be cooked. If you notice an orange-red tinge the chicken needs to cook for a bit longer.

How Do You Remove Veins From The Chicken Breast?

A few people find the concept of a vein appearing in the breast of a chicken unpleasant and would prefer to be careful about these veins.

There’s no absolute guarantee to ensure that chicken breasts don’t have a visible vein However, you can lower the odds substantially.

The best choice is to buy chicken breasts at the butchery counter, from where they are prepared according to your preferences.

A reliable butcher won’t be averse to the veins being taken out of the breasts of your chicken. This will also eliminate the effort of trimming and preparing your chicken breasts once you are back home.

If you don’t like having veins appearing in chicken, consider cooking boneless chicken whenever possible. A bone-infested chicken is more likely to have veins than chicken cooked on the bone.

Sliced and cut raw chicken breasts. Credt: Chef's Notes
Sliced and cut raw chicken breasts. Credt: Chef’s Notes

How To Cut The Veins In A Chicken Breast

If you’ve got a freshly uncooked, raw chicken breast, trimming it with care can eliminate the connective tissue and veins which causes ugly staining on the chicken breast.

It may take time to master however, it’s worth it!

  1. Locate the thicker, more pronounced part of the breast there is more white tissue. This is the cartilage that connects the breastbone and muscle.
  2. Make sure you hold the cartilage in a secure position and then put a sharp knife beneath it. It is not easy to cut and you’ll notice some resistance. Cut the cartilage from the meat by pulling it off as you go.
  3. There may be a piece of gristle that is attached to the cartilage. Cut it off as well. If you attempt this technique the first time, you could be cutting off more of the meat than you prefer.
  4. Below the area where you’ve cut off the cartilage, you could discover a bloody area beneath. This is the area where most of the veins are located and the area must be removed as well.
  5. After trimming the chicken breasts in the raw the breasts should be washed under cold running water, and then lightly dried with a towel.
  6. If the chicken breast has been prepared, your vein might appear more obvious and prominent. However, once the vein is visible it is difficult to eliminate the vein, without pulling the meat from the bone.
  7. The most effective method for cutting is by cutting the entire breast off the bone. With the fingers gently break the tender portion of the inner part from the outer meat of the breast. The outer portion will typically have veins and can be cut into pieces as usual.
  8. By performing a cautious dissection you could be able to get rid of the vein in the tenderloin inside the breast of the chicken. It’s difficult to accomplish this without the meat falling off and causing damage, so be cautious!
  9. Use a sharp knife to gently slide beneath the vein, gently lifting it up as you move. Move along it, making sure that it is freed from the meat throughout the entire length. It should then be possible to remove the vein and throw it away.

If your tenderloin of chicken gets smashed, everything is not wasted! It is among the most delicious and succulent portions of the chicken. It can be incredibly delicious chopped into salads or a chilled sandwich.


What are the red veins in chicken?

Red veins in chicken are blood vessels that have not been completely removed during the butchering process. These veins can be found in both raw and cooked chicken, and they may appear as thin red lines or streaks in the meat.

Is it safe to eat chicken with red veins?

Yes, it is safe to eat chicken with red veins as long as the chicken has been cooked to the appropriate temperature to kill any harmful bacteria. However, some people may find the presence of red veins unappetizing.

Are veins in chicken normal?

Yes, veins in chicken are normal and can be found in both raw and cooked chicken. However, the amount of veins in chicken can vary based on the butchering process.


In conclusion, the nutritional value of chicken breast makes it a popular food choice for many people. It is low in fat and high in protein, making it a healthy option for those looking to maintain a balanced diet.

However, while the chicken breast is a great source of nutrients, it is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with consuming raw or undercooked chicken, such as the risk of foodborne illness.

It is worth noting that some people may find the texture of cooked chicken breast to be less desirable due to the presence of tough, white tendons and veins in the meat.

These veins in chicken breast can be removed by carefully trimming the meat prior to cooking, resulting in a more enjoyable eating experience.

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Norah Clark

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, the founder and editor of YummyTasteFood! She's a seasoned food writer and editor with over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry as a former pastry chef, sous chef, and barista. When not writing about food, she explores new recipes or travels the world for culinary inspiration.