Amaranth is a Good Source of Plant-Based Protein

A reader informed me that amaranth was a good source of protein–better than quinoa even. So I checked it out and found that she was correct.

Amaranth has 9 g of protein per cup (cooked) which is slightly higher than quinoa. One cup of cooked amaranth has 250 calories while one cup of cooked quinoa has 222 calories. This gives them about the same amount of protein per calorie.

Amaranth also has a decent amount of lysine, comparable to a serving of soy or other legumes.

I have added amaranth’s amino acid profile to Table 3: Protein & Amino Acids in Common Foods.


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8 Responses to “Amaranth is a Good Source of Plant-Based Protein”

  1. Jordi Galisteo Says:

    That’s great, but I think that it’s more difficult to eat a cup of amaranth than a cup of quina. I think a serving of amaranth it’s closer to 1/2 a cup than to 1 cup. What do you think?

    Thank you so much for the info!

  2. Jack Norris RD Says:


    Based on the calories, I would think they are fairly comparable, but I have never eaten amaranth myself, so I don’t know.

  3. Chris O Says:

    I’m going to look for seeds and try growing in our garden this year. Thanks for posting.

  4. Chris O Says:

    How does the protein and other nutrition value compare between the greens and the grain? I’d probably only harvest and eat the greens.

  5. Jack Norris RD Says:

    > How does the protein and other nutrition value compare between the greens and the grain? I’d probably only harvest and eat the greens.

    You can look them up at

  6. Waldemar Juschin Says:

    Hi Jack,

    Amaranth has indeed more protein than Quinoa.
    Check out our inforgaphic about amaranth, hope you like it:

    P.S. We are going to do a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo this May. Sign up to our email list to stay updated:

  7. Billy Says:

    Amaranth is gorgeous in the garden with its dramatic red stalks reaching 3+ feet high and cascading crimson seed stems. It’s not a drought-resistant plant, but otherwise needs little care. A single plant yields thousands of seeds in a season which means plenty of new plants the following year where the plant is not perennial such as in the high desert where I live. And there’s plenty to leave for the birds in winter.

    This FB photos is from a plant in a large pot on my front porch. I also have it in the garden.

    Amaranth is VERY rich in flavor and consistency. Think of it as concentrated quinoa. I usually don’t eat more than a tablespoon or two at a setting.

  8. Aram Says:

    Amaranth can be popped like popcorn! You preheat a pan, add a tablespoon of amaranth, cover, and within 2-3 seconds it will begin to pop. It’ll be done after 10 seconds or so. Transfer to a cool container immediately, lest it burn. Then repeat the same process until you have all the popped amaranth you want. Besprinkle with nutritional yeast and perhaps liquid aminos and enjoy as snack. Or add to salads/soups, etc. hey, it’s a whole grain!

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