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Couscous vs Chickpeas: Which One is Better for You?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between couscous and chickpeas, foods from the grains and legumes food groups. Read on to learn more about the couscous vs chickpeas comparison.
Catherine Toledo, Journalist

Written by Catherine Toledo, Journalist. Updated on February 14, 2023.

Although couscous and chickpeas belong to different food groups, while couscous belong is a grain, and chickpeas belong to legumes food group, and it’s not that common to compare foods from different groups, people are often interested in these comparisons as well.

That’s why we decided to create an in-depth article that compares couscous and chickpeas, their nutritional values, similarities, differences, macronutrients, and micronutrients – vitamins and minerals.

Generally speaking, foods from grains and legume food groups are both high in carbs and protein and valuable addition to a plant-based diet.

Now, let’s see how couscous and chickpeas compare specifically.


Couscous (Couscous) is a type of pasta made from small, round granules of semolina, which is the coarsely ground endosperm of durum wheat.

It is a good source of carbohydrates and small amounts of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals like iron and B vitamins, depending on the ingredients used in the dish’s preparation.

Couscous is a staple food in North Africa and the Middle East and is traditionally served as a side dish or as a base for stews and salads. It is also gluten-free and easy to digest.

Couscous can be enjoyed in various ways. It can be cooked in different sauces, with herbs and spices, and can also be used in salads and soups. It can also be paired with vegetables and lean protein sources such as legumes and in moderate portions.

Couscous is an excellent source of Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid).

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), and Vitamin B3 (Niacin) and some Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and Vitamin B9 (Folate).


Chickpeas (Cicer arietinum) are a type of legume that are native to the Middle East and Mediterranean region.

They are a popular ingredient in many vegan and vegetarian dishes due to their high protein and fiber content and their versatility in cooking.

Chickpeas can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes, including hummus, falafel, and curry, and can also be ground into flour and used in baked goods such as bread and cookies.

Chickpea pasta is also available.

In addition to being a tasty and nutritious food, chickpeas have been shown to have a number of potential health benefits.

They are a good source of antioxidants, and have been linked to lower levels of cholesterol and improved blood sugar control.

Chickpeas are also a good source of several important minerals, including iron, zinc, and magnesium, all important nutrients for vegans.

Chickpeas are an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and Vitamin B9 (Folate).

They also contain a good amount of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin B3 (Niacin) and some Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K.

Couscous vs Chickpeas Nutrition

Now that we’ve described the origin, taste, and usage of these foods, we can move to the most interesting part – comparing couscous vs chickpeas.

This comparison will start by comparing the caloric value of couscous and chickpeas and their macronutrients and then go more in-depth by analyzing their vitamin and mineral content.

Energy376 kcal378 kcal
Carbs77.4 g63 g
Sugar0 g10.7 g
Fiber5 g12.2 g
Protein12.8 g20.5 g
Fat0.64 g6.04 g
Saturated Fat0.117 g0.603 g

Couscous vs Chickpeas Calories

Most calories in raw grains and legumes come from carbs. Peanuts are an exception here, but they are often considered a nut instead of a legume because of their nutritional profile.

Comparing couscous vs chickpeas for weight loss, couscous is slightly lower in calories, with 376 calories per 100 grams, compared to 378 calories per 100 grams of chickpeas.

However, both couscous and chickpeas can and should be a part of a healthy diet, and neither one shouldn’t be avoided if you’re looking to lose weight.

Couscous vs Chickpeas Protein

Legumes and most legume products, including couscous and chickpeas, are important sources of plant-based protein.

Chickpeas offer around 38% more protein than couscous.

Chickpeas have 20.5 grams of protein per 100 grams, while couscous has 12.8 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Couscous vs Chickpeas Carbs

Counting carbs can be important for some people for different reasons, including blood sugar control, weight management, or athletic performance.

It’s also important for people on a keto diet, so let’s compare the carbs content in couscous and chickpeas.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 19% higher in couscous than in chickpeas. It have 77.4 grams per 100 grams, compared to 63 grams in chickpeas.

There’s less sugar in couscous than in chickpeas, 100% precisely.

One handful of couscous (28 grams) contains 0 grams of sugar, while the same amount of chickpeas contains 3 grams.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in couscous and chickpeas.

Dietary fiber keeps the digestive system healthy and helps with weight management by promoting a sense of fullness.

With 3.4 grams of fiber per portion, chickpeas are a better source of fiber than couscous which offer 1.4 grams per portion.

Couscous vs Chickpeas Fats

Like most other grains and legumes, with the exception of lupins and peanuts, couscous and chickpeas are low in fat.

Fats in couscous and chickpeas are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.

Total fat in couscous and chickpeas:

  • Couscous: 0.6 grams per 100 grams
  • Chickpeas: 6 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, couscous is 83% lower in saturated fats.

Couscous and chickpeas contain 0.1 grams and 0.6 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Couscous vs Chickpeas Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of couscous and chickpeas.

Vitamins are micronutrients, meaning we need only a small amount. However, they are very important for many processes in our bodies.

Couscous has a higher amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), vitamin B9 (Folate), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

However, chickpeas have a higher amount of vitamin B3 (Niacin).

Couscous and chickpeas contain the same amount of vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins couscous and chickpeas contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.

Vitamin A067 IU
Vitamin C04 mg
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.163 mg0.477 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.078 mg0.212 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)3.49 mg1.54 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)1.24 mg1.59 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.11 mg0.535 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)20 µg557 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E00.82 mg
Vitamin K09 µg

Couscous vs Chickpeas Minerals Content

Minerals are important for our body to function properly. We need only a small amount of minerals, so they are called micronutrients.

Some minerals, like iron, calcium, zinc or, iodine, are relatively hard to get on a plant-based diet, so it’s important to choose your foods thoughtfully. This part of the couscous and chickpeas comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Couscous is a better source of calcium, copper, fluoride, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc than chickpeas.

On the other hand, chickpeas are a higher amount of selenium.

Check out the table below to learn how couscous and chickpeas compare when it comes to mineral content.

Calcium24 mg57 mg
Copper0.247 mg0.656 mg
Fluoride02.2 µg
Iron1.08 mg4.31 mg
Magnesium44 mg79 mg
Manganese0.78 mg21.3 mg
Phosphorus170 mg252 mg
Potassium166 mg718 mg
Selenium2.8 µg0
Sodium10 mg24 mg
Zinc0.83 mg2.76 mg

The Final Word

Couscous and chickpeas are highly nutritious and a great addition to a plant-based diet.

Both couscous and chickpeas are high in specific vitamins and minerals, and including them in your diet will give you the most benefits they offer.

Antioxidants found in grains and legumes can help to protect cells from damage and may reduce the risk of certain diseases and the effects of aging.

Additionally, the fiber and other nutrients in these foods can support the health of the digestive system and may even help to prevent certain digestive cancers.

Legumes and grains are a versatile food that can be incorporated into any meal of the day, including breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They can be served hot or cold, making them a convenient and tasty addition to a variety of dishes.


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