Easy Black Bean Brownies. YES. Moist, chocolately, and fudgy. Made with a whole can of black beans, these brownies are low in fat and carbs and feature more protein and fiber than most. Plus, these can easily be made gluten-free!

Photograph of a batch of brownies stacked on top of eachother on a white surface cut into squares and dusted with powdered sugar

I’m so excited to share this recipe with you for a few reasons.

One, and most obvious, it’s delicious.

Two, these black bean brownies are easy to make.

And three, you guys seemed SO excited for the recipe when I shared a little sneak peek on Instagram a few weeks ago. And rightly so! These babies are magical, if I do say so myself.

So black bean brownies? Why?

I get it, why mess with something so pure, so good. And I totally agree, there’s nothing wrong with indulging in a classic, fudgy, chocolatey brownie. But what if I told you that you could have all that while also lightening the overall load and adding some nutrients.

Why not, right? Or is it just me?

These brownies are incredibly simple to make and satisfy your craving with absolutely no hint of bean in sight. I find them magical. So, I guess to answer your question, black bean brownies are the key if you want to indulge in the classic dessert without all the fat (and lack of nutrients). 

Photograph of a batch of brownies on a white surface cut into squares and dusted with powdered sugar

Do black bean brownies actually taste good?

Oh my gosh, I’m telling you, these brownies have NO beany flavor in sight. I offered G a piece, with no preface at all, and he loved them.

As a point of reference, the first recipe test was a bit dry, G thought I had made a classic chocolate cake recipe. Fast forward to test three and he had no idea there was a WHOLE can of black beans in the batter. And G is picky when it comes to sweets, so that’s saying something.

If that isn’t convincing, I don’t know what is.

Photograph of a batch of brownies on a white surface cut into squares and dusted with powdered sugar

How to make black bean brownies:

Even easier than making regular brownies, the batter for these easy black bean brownies is made in a blender—yes—a blender. Here’s what you’ll do:

  1. Melt the chocolate and coconut oil until smooth (in a double boiler or microwave).
  2. Blend black beans, eggs, sugar, espresso powder, and vanilla in a blender until smooth.
  3. Add melted chocolate mixture and blend.
  4. Add flour, baking powder and baking soda; blend just until combined.
  5. Pour batter into a parchment-lined baking pan and bake.
Photograph of a batch of brownies stacked on top of eachother on a white surface cut into squares and dusted with powdered sugar

Are black bean brownies healthy?

Yes! Oh my gosh, the black beans replace a lot of the oil that would be added in a classic brownie, which means these easy black bean brownies are pretty low in fat.

They’re also made with less flour than most brownies which also helps tp decrease the overall carbs.

All in all, compared to classic brownies, these black bean brownies are higher in protein and fiber and lower in carbs, calories, and yes, even sugar.

These brownies have 12 grams of sugar per serving, so they aren’t low in sugar, but they do have much less sugar than most brownie recipes. If you’re watching your added sugar, go ahead and drop the sugar down to ½ cup.

Photograph of a batch of brownies on a white surface cut into squares and dusted with powdered sugar

Make gluten-free black bean brownies

Need to make these gluten-free? No problem! For starters, this recipe only uses ¼ cup flour. So it’s an easy swap, especially if you use a 1:1 baking flour like Bob’s Red Mill (which I highly recommend).

You can use whatever gluten-free flour blend you prefer, just make sure it has some xanthan gum in it!

How do I store black bean brownies?

Since these brownies are made with black beans, I highly recommend storing them in the refrigerator, at least a few days after baking. Otherwise they’ll start to mold faster than regular non-bean brownies. And no one wants that.

More healthy baking recipes you may like…

Photograph of a batch of brownies stacked on top of eachother on a white surface cut into squares and dusted with powdered sugar

Make sure to tag me @ZESTFULKITCHEN ON INSTAGRAM or tag #zestfulkitchen on social media if you make a recipe! 

Don’t forget, if you make these healthy brownies, leave a comment and rating below!

To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can click the button on any of the photos, or the red button on the bar below the recipe. Happy baking!

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Photograph of a batch of brownies stacked on top of eachother on a white surface cut into squares and dusted with powdered sugar

Easy Black Bean Brownies

  • Author: Lauren Grant of Zestful Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 16 brownies 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Ameican

Description

Tender and fudgy, these black bean brownies are healthier than the classic dessert and just as delicious—if not more.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 can low-sodium black beans (15 ounces) drained and rinsed
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour or 1:1 gluten-free flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips (optional)
  • Confectioners’ sugar (optional)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease an 8-inch baking pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang.

Melt coconut oil and chocolate together in a double boiler (or microwave) until smooth; let cool 5 minutes.

Blend beans, eggs, sugar, cocoa, espresso powder, and vanilla in a high-powered blender until completely smooth. Add chocolate mixture and blend until smooth.

Add flour, baking powder, and baking soda and blend just until combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan, smooth top, and sprinkle with chocolate chips (if using). Bake brownies until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 minutes.

Let brownies cool in pan 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.


Notes

GLUTEN FREE: make these brownies gluten-free by using a 1:1 gluten-free flour such as Bob’s Red Mill.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 brownie
  • Calories: 124
  • Sugar: 12g
  • Sodium: 40mg
  • Fat: 5g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Carbohydrates: 20g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Cholesterol: 22ng

Keywords: Healthy dessert, brownies, healthy brownies

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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Comments

    1. Hi Jessica!

      Great question, I have not tried this, but I definitely think you could freeze them. I would wrap them in foil then place them in a ziplock bag for the best results. I found that they are best enjoyed within the first 3 days of making (and stored at room temp or in the fridge), after that they tend to get a bit crumbly. So, I would imagine the only risk with freezing is that they could get a bit crumbly, but I think you should be good!

  1. But they do look cakey, though. Are they more on on a fudgy side or cakey side? Perhaps baking powder and baking soda should be omitted to make them more fudgy?

    1. Both baking powder and soda are used to give these brownies some lift so they aren’t totally flat. They are definitely still fudgy! But if you want them to be super fudgy and gooey you can leave out the soda.

  2. Tried this recipe and loved it! I baked them in a muffin tin, made 12 large muffins.
    I used vegan dark chocolate, whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour, and vegan butter instead of the coconut oil – and it worked perfectly. Will definitely be making these again! Great taste and texture. Thank you for this recipe!

    1. Hi D! I am so happy to hear you enjoyed them! And I love hearing about the changes you made—I need to try these as muffins! Thanks for sharing!!

  3. Really enjoyed this. But I’m calling it a black bean cake as it’s consistency is that on a cake not brownies. Great flavor though

    1. Hi Mandy, I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed this! Great note on the texture—I should develop a more fudgy version.