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Chickpea vs. Soybean: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on December 16, 2023
Chickpeas are legumes known for their round shape and nutty flavor, commonly used in Middle Eastern and Indian cuisines, while soybeans are oil-rich beans central to East Asian diets, often processed into various products like tofu and soy milk.

Key Differences

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, have been cultivated in Middle Eastern regions for thousands of years and hold significant cultural value in cuisines such as Indian and Mediterranean. Soybeans, originating from East Asia, have been a staple in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean diets for centuries, integral to many traditional dishes.
Chickpeas are a rich source of protein, dietary fiber, and carbohydrates, making them a popular choice in vegetarian diets. They are also high in vitamins and minerals like iron and phosphorus. Soybeans, on the other hand, are renowned for their high protein and oil content, and are a vital source of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, making them a crucial crop in global agriculture.
Chickpeas are versatile in cooking, used in salads, soups, stews, and as the primary ingredient in hummus. They can be ground into flour or eaten whole. Soybeans are equally versatile, used to produce tofu, soy milk, tempeh, and as a meat substitute in various vegan and vegetarian dishes.
Chickpeas are grown in arid and semi-arid regions, thriving in a variety of climates. They are vital for crop rotation due to their nitrogen-fixing abilities. Soybeans are one of the world's most important oilseed crops, extensively cultivated for their oil and protein, and are key in industrial and animal feed production.

Comparison Chart


Belongs to the Fabaceae family.
Also part of the Fabaceae family.


Originated in the Middle East.
Native to East Asia.

Primary Use

Consumed whole, in dishes like hummus.
Processed into products like tofu and oil.

Nutritional Content

High in fiber and protein, lower in fat.
High in protein and oil, rich in amino acids.

Agricultural Requirements

Grows in arid and semi-arid regions.
Requires more moisture and fertile soil.

Chickpea and Soybean Definitions


Chickpeas can be ground into flour, commonly known as gram flour.
I used chickpea flour to make gluten-free pancakes.


Soybeans can be processed into soy milk.
I switched to soy milk, made from soybeans, for my morning coffee.


Roasted chickpeas make a healthy, crunchy snack.
I love munching on roasted chickpeas as an afternoon snack.


Soybeans are a major source of vegetable oil.
Soybean oil is commonly used in cooking and frying.


Chickpeas serve as a substantial protein source in vegetarian diets.
Vegetarians often use chickpeas as a meat substitute in recipes.


Soybeans are used to make tofu.
Tofu, made from soybeans, is a staple in my vegan diet.


Chickpeas are a type of legume known for their nutty flavor.
I added chickpeas to my salad for extra protein.


Soybeans are a key component in animal feed.
The farm uses soybeans as part of their livestock feed.


Chickpeas are the main ingredient in hummus.
I blended chickpeas with tahini to make homemade hummus.


Soybeans are high in protein, essential for a balanced diet.
I include soybeans in my meals for their protein content.


An annual Asian plant (Cicer arietinum) in the pea family, widely cultivated for the edible seeds in its short inflated pods.


An annual leguminous plant (Glycine max) native to East Asia, widely cultivated for its seeds, which are used for food, as a source of oil, and as animal feed.


A seed of this plant. In both senses also called garbanzo.


A seed of this plant.


An annual Asian plant (Cicer arietinum) in the pea family, widely cultivated for the edible seeds in its short inflated pods.


A legume plant (Glycine max), commonly cultivated for human and animal consumption and as a nitrogen-fixing ground cover.


A seed of this plant, often used as a food.
Chickpea is valued for its nutritive seeds with high protein content.


The edible seed of this plant.


The seed of the chickpea plant


An Asiatic leguminous herb (Glycine max, formerly Glycine Soja) the seeds of which (also called soy beans) are used in preparing the sauce called soy. Called also soya bean and soya.


Asiatic herb cultivated for its short pods with one or two edible seeds


The seeds of the Glycine max, which produce soybean oil; - called also soya bean.


Large white roundish Asiatic legume; usually dried


A source of oil; used for forage and soil improvement and as food


Erect bushy hairy annual herb having trifoliate leaves and purple to pink flowers; extensively cultivated for food and forage and soil improvement but especially for its nutritious oil-rich seeds; native to Asia


Most highly proteinaceous vegetable crop known


What are soybeans?

Soybeans are oil-rich legumes, essential in many Asian cuisines and for various industrial uses.

What are chickpeas?

Chickpeas are a type of legume, known for their nutty taste and high protein content.

Can chickpeas be eaten raw?

No, chickpeas should be cooked before eating to ensure they're digestible.

Can soybeans be used in vegan diets?

Yes, soybeans are a staple in vegan diets due to their high protein content.

Are chickpeas good for weight loss?

Chickpeas can aid in weight loss due to their high fiber content.

What products are derived from soybeans?

Products like tofu, soy milk, soy sauce, and vegetable oil are made from soybeans.

Are soybeans eaten whole?

Yes, but they are more commonly processed into products like tofu or soy milk.

Can chickpeas be used in desserts?

Yes, chickpeas can be used in desserts, especially when ground into flour.

Do chickpeas contain gluten?

No, chickpeas are naturally gluten-free.

Is hummus made from chickpeas?

Yes, hummus is primarily made from mashed chickpeas.

What dishes feature chickpeas?

Dishes like falafel, chana masala, and various salads feature chickpeas.

Can soybeans be eaten as a snack?

Yes, roasted soybeans can be consumed as a healthy snack.

How do chickpeas benefit the soil?

Chickpeas help in nitrogen fixation, enriching the soil.

How are soybeans processed?

Soybeans are often processed into oil, milk, tofu, and flour.

Is soy a common allergen?

Yes, soy is one of the most common food allergens.

Are soybeans a good source of fiber?

Yes, soybeans contain significant amounts of dietary fiber.

How should chickpeas be stored?

Dried chickpeas should be stored in a cool, dry place, while canned chickpeas need refrigeration once opened.

Are soybeans genetically modified?

Many soybean crops are genetically modified for better yield and disease resistance.

Is soybean oil healthy?

Soybean oil is a healthy option, rich in unsaturated fats.

Can chickpeas cause allergies?

Yes, some people may be allergic to chickpeas.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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