These easy vegan black bean brownies are so yummy no one will ever guess they’re healthy and made with black beans!

Stack of 3 black bean brownies on a cutting board.

Introduction

These fudgy brownies are made with a secret ingredient – black beans! Black beans work great in chocolate brownies. They have a mild taste that blends into the other ingredients and they add extra protein and fiber to the recipe.

This recipe is made with oat flour for gluten-free brownies and uses flax egg and dairy-free chocolate chips to make them vegan. They’re also naturally sweetened with maple syrup, so no white sugar, and have no added oil like coconut oil or butter.

Since the brownies are made with healthy ingredients, they’re not quite as decadent as a regular brownie, but they still deliver on taste and texture and make the perfect healthy treat sure to satisfying your sweet tooth.

Whether you eat a plant-based diet or are just looking for a healthy dessert recipe, these make a delicious vegan dessert that’s suitable any time of day.

For more healthy desserts like these, you’ll have to try these Chickpea Blondies, Easy & Healthy Vegan Sweet Potato Cookies, Aquafaba Chocolate Mousse and Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bars next!

Ingredient Notes

Visual ingredient list for making vegan black bean brownies.
  • Black Beans: You’ll need 2 cups of cooked or 1 19 oz can of black beans. Drain and rinse well before use.
  • Ground Flax: Be sure to use ground flax seeds and not whole flax seeds. You’ll be mixing the ground flax with water to create a flax eggs.
  • Oat Flour: You can easily make your own using rolled oats in a food processor or high-speed blender. You can also use store-bought oat flour. A suitable substitute for oat flour is spelt flour, all-purpose flour or a gluten-free all purpose flour. Extra oat flour? Browse all vegan oat flour recipes here.
  • Almond Butter: Use any plain almond butter. You can substitute any other nut or seed butter such as cashew butter, peanut butter or tahini.
  • Cocoa Powder: Dark unsweetened cocoa powder is best but any kind works. You can also use raw cacao powder.
  • Maple Syrup: Can be substitute with agave syrup if needed.
  • Chocolate Chips: For dairy-free brownies, make sure to choose vegan chocolate chips such as Enjoy Life or Camino or any chopped dairy-free dark chocolate. You can use sugar-free chocolate chips for a lower-sugar recipe.

This list is not complete. Please see the recipe card at the end of the post for the complete ingredient list with measurements and detailed instructions.

Variations and Additions

  • Add up to 1/2 cup add-ins or mix-and-match from walnuts, pecans, raspberries or white chocolate chips.
  • The brownies can be baked in a muffin tin to make individual portions.
  • Add 1-2 tsp instant coffee or espresso powder to enhance the chocolate flavor.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Before You Start: Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line a 7 or 8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper.

Step 1: Mix the ground flax with the warm water in a small dish and let sit for 5 minutes until it resembles a gel-like consistency.

Step 2: Blend everything (including the flax egg) except the chocolate chips in a food processor until you have a thick, smooth chocolate batter.

Thick chocolate batter in a food processor.

Step 3: Add the chocolate chips to the food processor and pulse a few times to combine or transfer everything to a bowl and mix well.

Quick Tip: For some extra crunch, try mixing in up to 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans.

Thick chocolate brownie batter in a glass bowl.

Step 4: Scoop the brownie batter into the prepared baking dish and spread evenly using a spatula. Sprinkle some extra chocolate chips on top if you like!

Brownie batter sprinkled with chocolate chips in a baking pan.

Bake for 25-30 minutes then let cool in the pan for at least one hour. It’s important to allow them to cool so they firm up.

Lift the brownies out of the pan, slice and enjoy!

Close up of a black bean chocolate chip brownie on a marble counter top.

Recipe FAQs

Are black bean brownies good for you?

Black bean brownies are still brownies but they definitely have some added nutrition benefits when compared to regular brownies, such as a higher fiber and protein content.

This recipe is also dairy-free, gluten-free and can be made nut-free for those with dietary restrictions or allergies.

Can I make these nut-free?

Yes! Simple swap the almond butter for tahini or sunflower seed butter to make nut-free black bean brownies.

Is this recipe gluten-free?

Yes, these are gluten-free though make sure you use gluten-free certified oats to make the oat flour, if needed.

Can I use homemade oat flour?

Definitely! I always make my own oat flour. To make some, just add rolled or quick oats to a high-speed blender or food processor and blend into a fine, flour-like consistency.

How long do black bean brownies last?

The brownies will keep for 2-3 days at room temperature or 5-6 days in the fridge. Let the brownies cool completely before storing. They can be stored in the baking pan tightly wrapped with aluminium foil or plastic wrap, or transfered to an airtight container.

For longer storage, consider freezing.

Can I freeze black bean brownies?

Yes, though note that freezing may affect the texture of the brownies.

To freeze, store in an airtight freezer-safe container or bag for up to 3 months. For best results, wrap in plastic wrap or foil and then place in a freezer bag or container. Thaw briefly at room temperature or in the microwave before serving.

Do black bean brownies taste like black beans?

Beans are the main ingredient so they do have a faint black bean flavor but it’s not overpowering. They mostly have a rich chocolate flavor

Did you try this recipe? I’d love to hear about it! Scroll down to the comment section to leave a star rating and review.
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Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Vegan Black Bean Brownies

This vegan black bean brownie recipe is more of a healthy treat than a decadent dessert but they still have a rich chocolate taste and fudgy texture perfect for any brownie lover.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegan
Servings: 12
Calories: 175kcal
Author: Deryn Macey

Ingredients

  • 2 cups canned back beans drained and rinsed (250 g)
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds 14 g + 4 tablespoons of water
  • 1/3 cup oat flour 35 g
  • 1/4 cup almond butter 60 g
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder 30 g
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup 95 g
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips 75 g, plus additional for topping if desired
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 5 mL
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Line a 7 or 8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper so it sticks out over the edges and preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C).
  • Combine the 2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds with the 4 tablespoons of water, stir and let sit for 5 minutes to make a flax “egg”.
  • Add everything except the chocolate chips (including the flax egg) to a food processor and process, scraping down the sides as needed until you have a thick, smooth batter.
  • Add the chocolate chips and pulse a few times to combine or transfer everything to a bowl and stir to combine the chocolate chips. If you’d like any other add-ins such as walnuts, pecans or cranberries, mix those in now as well.
  • Scoop the batter into the lined baking pan and spread the batter evenly using a spatula.
  • Sprinkle some more chocolate chips evenly over the top and bake for 25-30 minutes.
  • Let cool in the pan for at least one hour before cutting and serving.

Video

Notes

Let cool completely before storing. Store in a sealed container at room temperature for 2-3 days, in the fridge for 5-6 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Use gluten-free certified oats to make the oat flour if needed. For a nut-free recipe, use tahini or sunflower seed butter instead of almond butter.

Nutrition

Serving: 1brownie | Calories: 175kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 7g | Sodium: 157mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 13g