Black Bean Brownies (Fudgy and Healthy)

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These ultra-fudgy, moist, and decadent black bean brownies are going to become your new favorite treat. And guess what? They are gluten-free, vegan, and naturally sweetened. But as good as the real deal. And whoever tries a bite will never guess they are filled with fiber-rich black beans and only healthy ingredients!

This has to be one of the best chocolate brownie recipes ever. Not only are these brownies fudgy and sweet, but they are incredibly healthy too!

I know black bean brownies have been around for quite some time, but it never ceases to amaze me how good they are.

And after testing various versions of it, I came up with this: a gluten-free, vegan, refined-sugar-free version that tastes just like the most scrumptious chocolate brownie.

I swear! They are as good as the best chocolate brownies filled with butter and sugar out there.

Don’t believe me? Try it out, and you’ll thank me later.

In terms of healthy treats, it’s a hard battle between these brownies, my homemade Nutella, and my favorite chocolate hazelnut cookies…Does anyone notice a chocolate theme here?

And these brownies are not only healthy and delicious, but they are also super easy to make too!

Also check 29 Best High Protein Vegan Snacks (Easy + Delicious)

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Black beans: Of course! The star of this recipe. Also packed with fiber and protein, they make these brownies super nutritious. Important: choose black beans that have no added salt, if using a can!
  • Flax Seeds: We’ll use flax seeds to bind the ingredients instead of eggs. When mixed with water, they become gelatinous and are a great egg substitute in vegan recipes.
  • Almond Milk: Or any other milk of your choice.
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: Pick a cocoa powder made with pure cocoa beans for the best chocolaty flavor.
  • Almonds (or Almond Flour): I use whole almonds and grind them myself, to give the brownies a bit of a crunch. But you can go the easy way and opt for almond flour or almond meal instead.
  • Dates: I use soft Medjool dates in most of my recipes, as I love their caramel-like taste. They are packed with nutrients and fiber and are the perfect sugar substitute.
  • Almond butter: Perfect for an extra dose of protein and healthy fats instead of oil.
  • Vanilla: I prefer pure vanilla powder, but a good quality vanilla extract works as well.
  • Baking powder
  • Dark Chocolate: You can also use dark chocolate chips, but I prefer to use better quality chocolate in my sweets. If you have to eat chocolate, make it the best experience possible!
Top view of ingredients needed to make black beans brownies

How to make

This black bean brownies recipe is incredibly simple. All you need to make it is a food processor or a blender.
They are pretty much a one-bowl recipe.

top view of black bean brownies cut into 9 pieces
  1. Make the flax eggs: Start by preheating the oven to 350F (175C). Then, make the flax eggs. In a small bowl, mix the flax seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and set aside for 5-10 minutes until they reach a jelly consistency. 
  2. Grind the almonds: If using almonds, add the almond to a food processor and blend until they are like coarse flour. If using almond meal, feel free to skip to step 3.
  1. Blend: Add the rinsed black beans, pitted dates, cocoa powder, almond milk, baking powder, two tablespoons of almond butter (we’ll use one for decoration), flax seed eggs, vanilla, and puree until smooth. I honestly can eat this out of the bowl as it is.
  1. Decorate: Grease an 8×8 inch pan, then line it with parchment paper. Pour the mixture into the baking pan and distribute evenly. Drizzle with the tablespoon of almond butter you set aside, and use a knife or a chopstick (I know…I am resourceful) to create swirls. Sprinkle with chopped chocolate chunks or chocolate chips.
  1. Bake: Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the edges start to brown. The toothpick test won’t work very well here because these brownies are meant to remain a bit gooey in the middle. 
Close up of baked black bean brownies
  1. Cut and eat: Let the brownies cool completely before cutting. This is quite important. If you try to remove the brownies from the pan or cut them when warm, they’ll be way too soft, and it’ll become a very messy task. Then, all that’s left to do is to enjoy them!
Top view of black bean brownies on a cooling rack

How to store

These brownies contain – of course – black beans, which means it’s best to store them in the fridge. You can store them for one day in an airtight container at room temperature. But if you plan to keep them for longer, store them in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.

Just remember to take them out of the fridge for at least a couple of hours before eating them to enjoy them at room temperature.

Another great trick is to warm them in the microwave for about 10 seconds. They will taste as if they’ve just come out of the oven.

Can you freeze black bean brownies?

These brownies never last long enough in our house to freeze them, but the great thing about them is that they taste as delicious if you make a bigger batch and freeze them.

Just defrost them two to three hours before you want to eat them. Use the microwave trick above, and they will be as good as freshly baked.

Top view of black bean brownies in a glass container for storage

Substitutions

Flax eggs: You can substitute flax eggs for one banana or for one real egg. If you use a real egg, avoid eating the brownie batter out of the food processor, as I do!

Almond butter: You can use peanut butter (yum), hazelnut butter, or any other nut butter.

Toppings: As mentioned before, you can use chocolate chips or also chopped nuts.

close up of brownie with a bite taken off

Are black bean brownies actually good?

Black bean brownies are not good: they are incredibly delicious! They are small, dense, chocolaty, fudgy pieces of goodness. I swear! You won’t be able to stop eating them.

And knowing that they contain a good amount of protein and fiber makes them a much better homemade treat.

Why I love Black Beans Brownies

  • The perfect healthy dessert but also a guilt-free snack.
  • Soft, gooey, and incredibly chocolatey!
  • They are so good no one will ever guess what’s in them!
  • Filled with nutritiously-dense ingredients that are good for you!

Other Healthy Treats And Snacks

If you try this black bean brownie recipe, please leave a comment and a rating and let me know how much you liked it!

Close up of 3 slices of black bean brownies
5 from 2 votes
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Black Bean Brownies

These ultra-fudgy, moist, and decadent black bean brownies are going to become your new favorite treat. And guess what? They are gluten-free, vegan, and naturally sweetened. But as good as the real deal. And whoever tries a bite will never guess they are filled with fiber-rich black beans and only healthy ingredients!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Vegan
Servings: 9 brownies
Calories: 174kcal
Author: Sara Trezzi

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/3 cup almonds - or almond flour
  • 1 can (15oz) black beans - drained and well rinsed (note 1)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 10-12 big Medjool dates
  • 3/4 cup almond milk - or any other milk of your choice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons almond butter - (keep 1 tablespoon aside for decorating)
  • Dark chocolate - cut in chunks for toppings

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Make the flax eggs (note 2). In a small bowl, mix the flax seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and set aside for 5-10 minutes until they reach a jelly consistency.
  • If using almonds, add the almond to a food processor and blend until they are like a coarse flour. Add the rinsed black beans, pitted dates, cocoa powder, almond milk, baking powder, 2 tablespoons of almond butter (reserve 1 for later), flax seeds mixture, and vanilla. Puree until smooth.
  • Grease an 8×8 inch pan, then line it with parchment paper. Pour the mixture into the baking pan and distribute evenly. Then, drizzle with the additional almond butter and use a knife to create swirls. Sprinkle with chopped chocolate chunks or chocolate chips.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes until the edges start to brown. The toothpick test won't work well here because these brownies are meant to remain a bit gooey in the middle.
  • Let the brownies cool completely before cutting (note 3). Enjoy!

Notes

Note 1: Make sure to buy black beans with no salt added to the water.
Note 2: You can substitute the flax eggs for 1 big banana or 1 egg.
Note 3: Seriously, let them cool! Or you won’t be able to cut them, and they’ll crumble into a (still delicious) mess.
How to store: Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Remove them from the fridge a couple of hours before eating them, or warm them in the microwave for 10 seconds.
Freeze: You can freeze them in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Separate the layers with some parchment paper.

Nutrition

Calories: 174kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 8g | Sugar: 15g

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6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Great recipe! Healthy and delicious. I’m trying Masking them in muffin form right now.
    I think there is a small mistake in the recipe saying 6 tbsp of water with the flax seed white 3 in the ingrédients. I used 3 both times I made it and it was perfect.

    1. Thank you Jessica, for spotting that typo. You did the right thing using 3 tablespoons of water. I now fixed the mistake 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Second time making them, yum!!!!

  3. BLACK BEANS!! what!!!!!

    1. I know!!! I swear they taste delicious! First time I did them I didn’t tell Dan what was in there and he couldn’t believe it 😊