• Home
  • Guides
  • Quinoa vs Split Peas: Difference, Benefits, More

Quinoa vs Split Peas: Difference, Benefits, More

This article explains the key similarities and differences between quinoa and split peas, foods from the grains and legumes food groups. Read on to learn more about the quinoa vs split peas comparison.
Dennis Gillett, Health & Fitness Writer

Written by Dennis Gillett, Health & Fitness Writer. Updated on February 6, 2023.

Although quinoa and split peas belong to different food groups, while quinoa belong is a grain, and split peas 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 quinoa and split peas, 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 quinoa and split peas compare specifically.


Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) is a grain-like crop grown for its edible seeds.

It is a good source of complete protein, providing all essential amino acids, and also rich in dietary fibers, vitamins, and minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and zinc.

Quinoa also contains antioxidants, flavonoids, and anti-inflammatory compounds, which have been linked to various health benefits, including improved blood sugar control, cardiovascular health, and weight management.

It is a versatile ingredient that can be cooked and eaten as a side dish, added to soups and stews, or ground into flour to make breads, pancakes, and other baked goods.

Quinoa is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and Vitamin B9 (Folate).

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin E.

Split Peas

Split peas (Pisum sativum) are a type of legume that are native to the Middle East and have been grown for thousands of years.

They are made by splitting dried peas and removing the outer skin, resulting in a small, round, flat legume that is green or yellow in color.

Split peas are a popular ingredient in many dishes, such as split pea soup, and are highly valued for their nutritional content.

One of the main health benefits of split peas is their high protein content.

They are a good source of plant-based protein, making them a popular choice for vegetarians and vegans.

Split peas are also high in fiber, which can help to improve digestion and lower cholesterol levels.

They are rich in nutrients such as iron, potassium, and B vitamins. They also contain several plant compounds that have been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

Split Peas are an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine).

They also contain a good amount of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin K and some Vitamin A, Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and Vitamin B9 (Folate).

Quinoa vs Split Peas Nutrition

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

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

QuinoaSplit Peas
Energy368 kcal364 kcal
Carbs64.2 g61.6 g
Sugar1.45 g3.14 g
Fiber7 g22.2 g
Protein14.1 g23.1 g
Fat6.07 g3.89 g
Saturated Fat0.706 g0.408 g

Quinoa vs Split Peas 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 split peas vs quinoa for weight loss, split peas are slightly lower in calories, with 364 calories per 100 grams, compared to 368 calories per 100 grams of quinoa.

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

Quinoa vs Split Peas Protein

Legumes and most legume products, including quinoa and split peas, are important sources of plant-based protein.

Split Peas offer around 39% more protein than quinoa.

Split Peas have 23.1 grams of protein per 100 grams, while quinoa has 14.1 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Quinoa vs Split Peas 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 quinoa and split peas.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 4% higher in quinoa than in split peas. It have 64.2 grams per 100 grams, compared to 61.6 grams in split peas.

There’s less sugar in quinoa than in split peas, 56% precisely.

One handful of quinoa (28 grams) contains 0.4 grams of sugar, while the same amount of split peas contains 0.9 grams.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in quinoa and split peas.

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

With 6.2 grams of fiber per portion, split peas are a better source of fiber than quinoa which offer 2 grams per portion.

Quinoa vs Split Peas Fats

Like most other grains and legumes, with the exception of lupins and peanuts, quinoa and split peas are low in fat.

Fats in quinoa and split peas are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.

Total fat in quinoa and split peas:

  • Quinoa: 6.1 grams per 100 grams
  • Split Peas: 3.9 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, split peas are 43% lower in saturated fats.

Split Peas and quinoa contain 0.4 grams and 0.7 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Quinoa vs Split Peas Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of quinoa and split peas.

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

Quinoa has a higher amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and vitamin K.

However, split peas have a higher amount of vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), vitamin B9 (Folate), and vitamin E.

Quinoa and split peas contain the same amount of vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

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

QuinoaSplit Peas
Vitamin A14 IU149 IU
Vitamin C01.8 mg
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.36 mg0.719 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.318 mg0.244 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)1.52 mg3.61 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.772 mg0.962 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.487 mg0.14 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)184 µg15 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E2.44 mg0.12 mg
Vitamin K015.9 µg

Quinoa vs Split Peas 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 quinoa and split peas comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Quinoa is a better source of copper, iron, potassium, selenium, and zinc than split peas.

On the other hand, split peas are a higher amount of calcium, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus.

Quinoa and split peas contain the same amount of fluoride, and sodium.

Check out the table below to learn how quinoa and split peas compare when it comes to mineral content.

QuinoaSplit Peas
Calcium47 mg46 mg
Copper0.59 mg0.809 mg
Iron4.57 mg4.73 mg
Magnesium197 mg63 mg
Manganese2.03 mg1.19 mg
Phosphorus457 mg334 mg
Potassium563 mg852 mg
Selenium8.5 µg10.7 µg
Sodium5 mg5 mg
Zinc3.1 mg3.49 mg

The Final Word

Quinoa and split peas are highly nutritious and a great addition to a plant-based diet.

Both quinoa and split peas 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.


Holy Peas has strict sourcing guidelines and draws only from high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical journals, associations and government institutions. Read more about our process.

How we ensure this article is accurate?
  1. It's written and or reviewed by an expert.
  2. We cite relevant studies and trusted sources.
  3. It's regularly updated.

Read more about our process and team.