Deli chicken slices are better than sliced deli turkey. I won’t go on about how bland turkey can be—we’ve all had that conversation during the holiday season and it’s been done to death. Instead, I’m going to go on about how flavorful chicken is. The best deli chicken meat is moist and savory and perfect for sandwiches. Plus, there’s way more variety when it comes to deli sliced chicken. You can get thinly sliced chicken, you can get thick chicken slices that feel like they were just cut off a rotisserie chicken, you can get spicy deli chicken. And while not all deli chicken is great, I have found that you have a better chance of finding a decent quality meat when you pick chicken over turkey—it’s more likely to actually have the texture of meat and it’s much less slimy overall. (Please, no one explain meat slime to me. I’m just not ready to become a vegetarian yet. )
But there definitely are some deli chicken brands that are better than others. We tasted 13 different packages of thick and thinly sliced chicken to find the best deli sliced chicken for you.
- Boar’s Head Golden Classic Chicken Breast
If you’re looking for a classic cold cut—we’re talking low seasoning, standard poultry flavor, tastes like a deli sandwich from your childhood—then this is the Boar’s Head deli chicken for you. Personally, this is not my pick, but that’s because it reminds me a bit of deli turkey and we know how I feel about that. But other tasters felt that this list needed a classic cold cut pick. Here it is.
Credit: Merc / Ralphs
- True Story Thick Carved Oven Roasted Chicken Breast
Don’t want to invest in a whole rotisserie chicken—or even half of one? This chicken breast deli meat from True Story (maker of some of the best prosciutto) is exactly what you need. Each package comes with thick (like, one-inch-thick) slices of roasted chicken breast. The meat tastes herby—like it was roasted with herbs tucked under the skin. It’s juicy. It’s meaty. It’s peppery. It’s easy to just throw on a salad. My only issue with it is that there’s not a lot of chicken in a package. It’s enough for one salad for two or one and a half sandwiches.
Credit: Merc / Target
- Boar’s Head Chipotle Chicken
This chipotle-coated Boar’s Head deli chicken isn’t playing around. It really has quite a kick. The texture is good, too—not overly processed, but it holds together for a good sandwich or wrap. I’d roll this up with some blue cheese dressing, chopped lettuce, and thinly shaved celery for a faux Buffalo chicken wrap.
Credit: Merc / Ralphs
- Boar’s Head Everroast Roast Chicken Breast
Head to the deli counter and ask your kindly deli person (or the nervous teen who really shouldn’t have access to a meat slicer—the kind of deli worker I once was), for a pound of this deli sliced chicken. Get it real nice and thin, because it has enough flavor that you don’t need a thick slice. It’s extremely savory and zesty—it almost has a ranch dressing thing going on. According to Boar’s Head, it’s chicken breast roasted with a “mirepoix of carrots, celery, onions, and a medley of spices.” Fancy! And really good.
Credit: Merc / Sprouts
- Oscar Mayer Carving Board Rotisserie Seasoned Chicken Breast
I can’t believe how good Oscar Mayer’s thiccccc chicken slices are. Unlike True Story, this thick cut deli chicken isn’t in chunks, it’s still very much a deli meat—it’s just a much thicker cut. If you dream of Thanksgiving leftover sandwiches all year round (made with meat that actually tastes seasoned and good), then you need to try this thick-cut chicken breast deli meat.
Credit: Merc / Instacart
- Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh Blackened Chicken Breast
Oscar Mayer comes in again for the win. This is exactly what I want out of deli chicken slices. It’s not too thick, but it’s not paper thin, so it holds together on a sandwich or in a chopped salad. It’s savory but not salty. And it doesn’t have any of that funky deli meat sweetness like some cold cuts. The blackened edges add a zing of spice to the flavor, but it’s not spicy. You can bet I’ll be buying this chicken deli meat to my grocery lists and turning my back on turkey forever.
Credit: Merc / Instacart
Best Classic Cold Cut
Best Rotisserie Style
Best Fresh Sliced
Best Thick Sliced
Best of the Best
Other deli chicken we tried: Lunch Mate Deli Style Rotisserie Seasoned Chicken Breast, Great Value Thin Sliced Rotisserie Seasoned Chicken Breast, Kroger Oven Roasted Chicken Breast, Applegate Oven Roasted Chicken Breast, Buddig, Hillshire Farm Ultra Thin Rotisserie Seasoned Chicken Breast, Land O’Frost Oven Roasted Chicken Breast