The present investigation has been carried out to determine the antioxidant activity of the methanolic extracts obtained from four cultivars of cowpea ( Vigna unguiculata (L) Walp.) seeds. Phenolic compounds present in the extracts showed the antioxidant and antiradical properties when investigated using a linoleic acid peroxidation model, FRAP, ORAC and TRAP assays, as well as DPPH, hydroxyl, nitric oxide and superoxide radical scavenging activity. The HPLC analysis of the cowpea extracts showed the presence of neochlorogenic acid, chlorogenic acid and caffeic acids. The results indicated that methanolic extract of the cowpea resembled in the aforementioned activities those from other leguminous seeds and pulses. Phenolic constituents contained in cowpea may have a future role as ingredients in the development of functional foods.