Healthy Black Bean Brownies

These Healthy Black Bean Brownies are kid-friendly, full of fiber and perfect for a snack or dessert!

*Originally posted 2/22. Updated 6/23*

Hi friends!

I’m excited to share the best black bean brownies with you guys today. To be honest, I would actually call these black bean bars since they’re not overly sweet and full of protein and fiber unlike traditional brownies, but people searching for this type of recipe want brownies, so that’s what we’ll call them! If you’re looking for healthy brownies without the beans, my Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Brownies are a longtime favorite around here.

If you’re a longtime reader, you know putting beans, lentils and veggies into baked goods is one of my specialties! Looking for some other kid-friendly snacks? Try these:

  • Sweet Potato White Bean Bars
  • Lentil Banana Muffins
  • Apple Cinnamon Red Lentil Muffins
  • Pumpkin Bean Bread
  • Sweet Potato Cookies

Do black bean brownies taste good?

I’ve been getting requests for a muffin or bar recipe using black beans for several years now and I’ve always worried the bean taste would be stronger and more noticeable than white beans so I’ve avoided them. But I’m here to tell you that the beans are totally hidden in this recipe! If you didn’t know they were in there you would never guess. 

Baking with Beans 

What do black beans replace in baking?

I usually think of beans as an addition to baked goods rather than a replacement for something else because I like to think about all the benefits they add. However, beans are known for being a good substitute for some of the butter and/or oil in typical baked goods.

What are the benefits of baking with beans?

So what are the benefits of baking with beans? It’s an easy way to add protein and fiber! You can also use pureed beans to replace some of the butter in recipes for cookies and other baked goods. I tend to puree whole beans, lentils etc into my baked goods but you can also by things like chickpea flour and experiment with replacing up to half your wheat flour. You’ll be adding fiber, protein and other nutrient like B6, potassium, zinc and antioxidants.

Vegan Black Bean Brownies

This particular recipe uses 2 eggs. To make them vegan, try replacing the eggs with flax eggs. One flax egg = 1 Tbsp ground flax + 3 Tbsp water. Mix and let sit 5 min before using. Be aware that this may change the texture of the recipe a bit.

Gluten-free Black Bean Brownies

Are black bean brownies gluten-free?

Simply adding black beans to these brownies doesn’t make them gluten-free unless you also make changes to the flour. I’ve tried leaving the flour out of this recipe and they taste great, they’re just a bit more crumbly. I’d definitely recommend trying these Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Brownies.

It’s also super easy to make these black bean brownies gluten-free. The only thing you need to replace is 1/3 cup flour. I’ve had success using a 1:1 gluten-free blend like King Arthur Measure for Measure (aff link).

How To Make Healthy Black Bean Brownies

What are black bean brownies made of?

Let’s review the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Black beans – I’d look for no-salt-added or rinse them after draining
  • Eggs
  • Oil – I use avocado oil because of it’s mild flavor
  • Maple syrup- You could probably replace with white sugar but I’ve only tested using maple syrup
  • Vanilla extract – Adds important flavor!
  • Flour – I use white whole wheat flour. I tried making these flourless but think a little bit of flour really helps keep them from being too crumbly. 
  • Baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • Cocoa powder- I use Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder
  • Chocolate chips – either mix throughout or sprinkle on top before baking

How To Make Black Bean Brownies Step-by-Step

If you have a food processor, making these brownies is super easy. Just add beans, eggs, oil, maple syrup and vanilla and blend until smooth. Add flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt and blend again. Mix in some chocolate chips and pour into a pan.

Can I make these black bean brownies if I don’t have a food processor?

Yes! If you have a high-powered blender you can probably add all your ingredients to the blender and blend. Or, grab your blender and combine the beans, eggs, oil and maple sryup. Blend until smooth then transfer to a bowl and add the remaining ingredients.

How long to bake black bean brownies?

This can depend on your preference. I bake mine for about 14 minutes. These brownies are a more cakey than fudgy but if you want them a bit more fudgy you can underbake them by a minute or two.

Here’s the official recipe:


Best Black Bean Brownies Recipe

Print Recipe

5 from 6 reviews

These Healthy Black Bean Brownies are kid-friendly, full of fiber and perfect for a snack or dessert!

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12 brownies 1x



1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained (approx 1.75 cups)
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil (I use avocado oil)
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup flour (I use white whole wheat)
1/3 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt

1/3 cup chocolate chips


  1. In a food processor, combine black beans, eggs, oil, maple syrup and vanilla and process until smooth.
  2. Add flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt and process until just combined.
  3. Pulse in chocolate chips or save to sprinkle on top.
  4. Spoon into a greased or lined 9×9 baking pan.
  5. Bake at 375 for 14-15 minutes.


If you don’t have a food processor, you should be able to use a high-powered blender!

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @theleangreenbean on Instagram

Thanks to a food processor, these come together super quickly!

Healthy Black Bean Brownies FAQs

Can I make these brownies in a muffin tin?

Yes! These work great as muffins. You’ll have to play around with the cooking time depending on the size of your muffins but I would start checking them around 15 minutes.

Can black bean brownies be frozen?

Yes! Cool completely and cut into squares. Then transfer to a freezer-safe bag and freeze up to 3 months. To thaw, simply take them out and let them thaw on the counter.

How to store black bean brownies/Should you refrigerate black bean brownies?

I store mine on the counter for up to 3 days. After that I transfer to the fridge but you can store them in the fridge from the beginning if you want.

Are black beans high in protein?

Black beans have 8g of protein and 7g of fiber per 1/2 cup serving.

Are black bean brownies good for diabetics?

This recipe works well for my husband who is a type one diabetic. While there’s still sugar in the recipe, the beans add some protein and fiber to help reduce the insulin spike. You could also try replacing the maple syrup with a sugar alternative. Read more about sugar alternatives here.

Are black bean brownies healthier?

Just because brownies have black beans doesn’t automatically make them healthy. But this particular recipe is healthier than a lot of brownie recipes. It contains a whole can of black beans and is fairly low in added sugar.

Can I substitute the black beans for white beans?

I have not tried white beans for this particular recipe, but I do have several recipes baking with white beans and they always work great so I think it’s safe to say you could use white beans in this recipe. I typically use great northern beans in baking.

Can I substitute black beans for kidney beans?

Again, I haven’t tried it, but I think kidney beans have a fairly mild flavor that could easily be hidden by the cocoa powder so I think it’s worth a try!

Have you ever baked with beans? 



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