Best-Ever Black Bean Brownies Recipe

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I'm a Certified Health Coach, longtime blogger, and host of Elizabeth Eats on YouTube. In addition to writing recipes (I love to eat!), I'm a strong believer that life is too short to settle for anything less than living your best life.


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best black bean brownies recipe

I can’t believe it’s taken me almost 10 years of blogging to come up with a black bean brownies recipe! It’s made me question what I’ve been doing with my life.

These dark chocolate black bean brownies are so fudgy and yummy that even I’m surprised at how well they turned out.

Black beans make the perfect healthy base for brownies without leaving any traces of black bean flavor. For real! I was skeptical, too, but now I’m a believer. Don’t mention it to anyone until after they eat them—no one will know about your secret ingredient.

Black bean brownies are healthy, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, flourless, wholesome, and delicious. What’s not to love?

Black Bean Brownies Elizabeth Rider Recipe copy

Is it hard to make black bean brownies? No, it isn’t hard to make black bean brownies. The prep time for my all-natural recipe is only 15 minutes.

What does the texture of black bean brownies resemble? The texture of black bean brownies resembles a traditional brownie: fudgy, dense, and just a little gooey.

I love black beans in salads, soups, and tacos, but using them in brownies is potentially my favorite use for them. Plus, this is one of the easiest dessert recipes you can make.

These healthy brownies have a rich dark chocolate flavor and are not overly sweet, thanks to the raw chocolate powder and all-natural ingredients. They make a great healthy dessert and are also tasty for a midday snack.

The Best Black Bean Brownies Ingredients

Here’s what you need to make these little guilt-free showstoppers that still satisfy a sweet tooth.

Black Beans

One of nature’s most impressive superfoods, black beans double as a protein, cholesterol-lowering fiber, and good carbohydrates.

Look for a 15-ounce can or box of black beans (plain, no seasoning added) and rinse and drain them well. One 15-ounce can of black beans is approximately one and three-quarter cups.

Are black bean brownies healthier? Black bean brownies are healthier than traditional brownies as they remove the need for all-purpose flour. Black beans also offer a tasty source of potassium, fiber, calcium, and vitamin A, while keeping the taste of fudge-y and chocolaty goodness.

best black bean brownies ingredients

Raw Chocolate Powder

Raw chocolate is also known as cacao. It has an earthy chocolate flavor and is another superfood packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. I use cacao powder in almost all of my chocolate recipes for its purity and health benefits.

I use the Thrive Market brand because it’s high in quality and at a great price. You can substitute vegan unsweetened cocoa powder (cacao’s roasted cousin) if you prefer.

You can also use regular cocoa powder in this recipe if that’s what you have.

Flax Eggs (or Eggs)

I know this sounds weird at first if you’ve never made a flax egg, but trust me, it works. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll want to use it often. A flax “egg” is simply one tablespoon of ground flax seeds mixed with three tablespoons of warm water.

Let it sit for 15-30 minutes for the flax seeds to absorb the water and gelatinize, and voila! You’ve just made yourself a vegan egg replacement. Flax eggs usually do a great job of replacing a regular egg in baking.

You can read more about how to make the best flax eggs here. If you’d prefer to use regular large eggs, that’s fine too.

Whole Rolled Oats

I used whole rolled oats in these black bean brownies to give them some structure. Oats are gluten-free by nature, but they’re usually stored with other grains. Look for certified gluten-free oats if you need to avoid cross-contamination.

To make this recipe totally grain-free, you can substitute the oats with almond flour one for one. I prefer the texture with the oats, but almond flour works if you want a proper grain-free brownie.

Vegan Dark Chocolate Chips

Look for the highest quality possible. The addition of chocolate chips to the cacao powder makes these brownies extra chocolatey and full of flavor. Like the cacao powder, I use the Thrive Market brand because they’re healthy and priced well.

If you choose to grab semisweet chocolate chips, read your labels and use the highest quality you can find. These often have unwanted filler materials like vegetable oil or canola oil.

Black Bean Brownies Recipe copy

Recipe Notes

These gluten-free brownies are a hit at parties or as a mid-workday treat. Here’s what to keep in mind.

  • Pan Size: I wrote this black bean brownie recipe for an 8×8-inch baking pan. You can check with a toothpick to see if they’re done once they’ve reached their total cook time.
  • Blending: I used a Cuisinart 12-cup food processor to make this recipe and many others, and I highly recommend it for this recipe. An 8-cup food processor would work, too. A blender can work if that’s your only option, just stop often and scrape down the sides until you puree a smooth brownie batter.
  • Shopping: Don’t forget to check Thrive Market for the best natural recipe ingredients.
  • Variations: You could add in a hint of peanut butter, espresso, or peppermint chips if you wanted to change up your brownies’ flavor.
  • Serving suggestions: I love eating one of these with a bit of dairy-free ice cream or with a cup of peppermint tea.
  • Storing: Let the cooked brownies come to room temperature then cover. You can store them on the counter at room temperature for up to two days. Then keep them in the fridge for up to 3 more days. Freeze them after 5 days if you have any leftovers (we never do!)

If you’re looking for more black bean goodness, check out these recipes:

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Black Bean Brownies Elizabeth Rider Recipe copy

The Best Black Bean Brownies Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 8 reviews
  • Author: Elizabeth Rider
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield: 16 1x
  • Category: Vegan & Gluten-Free
  • Method: Mix
  • Diet: Vegan


This black bean brownie recipe makes a decadent treat, but it contains only healthy ingredients (and you can’t even taste the black beans). If you love it, please leave a 5-star rating in the comments to help other readers in our community.


  • 2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons ground flaxseed mixed with 6 tablespoons tepid water)
  • 1/2 cup whole rolled oats
  • (1) 15-ounce can black beans, well rinsed and well-drained
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or other healthy oil of your choice like coconut oil)
  • 3/4 cup cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder, if you prefer)
  • 3/4 cup real maple syrup (or honey)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegan dark chocolate chips, divided


  1. First, make the flax eggs, as they need to sit for 15-30 minutes to gelatinize.
  2. While the flax egg mixture sits, prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  4. Spray an 8×8-inch baking pan with a healthy extra virgin olive oil spray, or use a paper towel with 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil to grease the pan. Don’t use parchment paper.
  5. Place the ½ cup of whole rolled oats into the food processor and process for about 30 to 45 seconds until you have milled oat flour.
  6. Add the rest of the ingredients except the chocolate chips and process for about 2-3 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides a few times. Mix until very well combined and thick.
  7. Once the brownie batter is ready, add ¼ cup of dark chocolate chips and pulse once or twice to combine.
  8. Pour the mixture into an 8×8 baking dish and smooth evenly with a spatula.
  9. Sprinkle on an additional 2 tablespoons of dark chocolate chips if desired. A few tablespoons of chopped walnuts would also be a great addition to the top if desired.
  10. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the sides appear completely cooked. The middle will stay a little gooey but will firm up as it sets.
  11. Remove from the oven and let sit for at least 30 minutes before serving, to allow the brownies to firm up. I find them even better the next day.
  12. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week, or freeze for up to three months.


This black bean brownie recipe is written for an 8×8-inch dish.

I used a Cuisinart 12-cup food processor to make this recipe and many others, and I highly recommend it for this recipe. An 8-cup food processor would work, too. A blender can work if that’s your only option, just stop often and scrape a spatula down the sides until you have a smooth brownie batter.

Be sure to check out my flax egg recipe, which is super important to this black bean brownie recipe.


  • Calories: 117 kcal per serving

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  1. Abigail says:

    Thank you for this recipe! These were fast easy healthy filling treats. I did end up making a few changes, but overall they were great!

  2. Claudia says:

    Ah, thank you so much for posting this recipe. I love sweets, but I am no good at baking. This recipe sounds easy, healthy and delicious!

  3. Nancy A says:

    I love these and am making them for Christmas! Wondering if anyone has ever made them in a pie shell?! Thank you!

    • Hi Nancy, we love these black bean brownies, too! I haven’t ever tried to make it in a pie shell. If you try it let us know how it turns out! Thanks for stopping by to comment 🙂 ~E

  4. Peg says:

    I am sure that you have a reason to specifically not use parchment paper to line the pan. I am very curious as to why not?

  5. Pat says:

    I can’t make these anymore they’re dangerously delicious 😂I think I gained 30lbs each time I made them 😆 I made them twice. First time followed the recipe using BM egg replacement instead of flax. The second time I added cinnamon. One question I do have, are these brownies gluten free?

    • Pat, so glad you love them! Black bean brownies are one of my favorites, too 🙂 Yes, these are gluten-free. Oats are gluten-free by nature, though some are stored with other gluten-containing grains. If you’re allergic, be sure to pick “certified gluten-free” oats or oat flour.

  6. Amelia McDaniel-Burrell says:

    I used regular eggs instead of flax eggs & they came out great! I think they would go well with vanilla ice cream, they’re very fudgy & dense

  7. These brownies are already dairy-free when the recipe is made exactly as written. Just be sure to use dairy-free chocolate chips and you ll be all set.

  8. Andrea says:

    I even got asked to bring the black bean brownies for a weekend with friends. I serve it as brownies with a secret incredient – and no one gets what it is.

  9. Susanne says:

    These are very good! I always add 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts.

  10. Johanna says:

    These are the best! I added 1 tsp cinnamon just because I like it with chocolate. I still can’t believe how good they are —- better than any brownie I’ve ever made! Will make them for my grandchildren. Thank you!

  11. Rosemary Clarke says:

    Dear Elizabeth,

    Thanks for this yummy recipe. I used Bob’s egg replacer instead of flax, mostly maple syrup but had to add agave to get to the 1/4 cup. Other than that, I cooked it per the recipe. Unfortunately, I shouldn’t have these in my house as they are too good to resist!

    Do you think these could be frozen?


  12. Jennifer says:

    do you have to use chocolate chips for this recipe? trying to cut down on processed sugar

  13. Sharon says:

    Sounds delish! Is it ok to use real eggs?

    • Hi Sharon, I haven’t tested this recipe with real eggs but I suspect it would work to sub the 2 flax eggs for 2 real eggs. If you tolerate eggs well go for it. If you try it let us know how it turns out! ~E

Hi, I'm Elizabeth

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