These vegan black bean brownies are super chocolatey, fudgy, chewy, and moist, and you can’t even tell they’re made with beans. This recipe is naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, flourless, and ready in no time!
Fudgy, Moist Vegan Black Bean Brownies
Having stuffed brownies with zucchini, chickpeas, sweet potato, tofu, and peas – this time I’m making vegan black bean brownies. It turns out there really is no end to the love I have for brownies or packing them with hidden veggies and healthy ingredients.
If it’s not already obvious, I’m no stranger to hiding all sorts of ingredients in my vegan gluten-free desserts – in more than just my brownies too (oh hello gluten-free chocolate cake). Whether they’re in there for texture or to replace a non-vegan ingredient, when done ‘right’ you shouldn’t even be able to tell they’re there. After a little experimenting, this black bean brownie recipe has officially passed the taste test.
Black beans are neutral enough in flavor that they blend wonderfully into the brownie batter without being overwhelming in flavor. Instead, they provide the dense, moist, fudgy, chewy texture of regular brownies while remaining MUCH healthier than your standard brownie.
In fact, by including the black beans into these gluten-free brownies, this recipe is packed with fiber, omega-3s, protein, and heart-healthy, bone-healthy benefits. Best of all, though, no-one would guess these are healthy black bean brownies or that they contain beans at all!
- Black beans: I use canned black beans, rinsed and drained.
- Chia eggs: I use chia ‘eggs’ in place of eggs in these vegan brownies. You could use flax ‘eggs’ too.
- Peanut butter: Or the nut butter of your choice. For a nut-free option, you could use sunflower seed butter. You could also use neutral oil instead.
- Cocoa powder: Or cacao powder. You could also experiment with using half cocoa and half Dutch-processed cocoa.
- Vanilla extract: A delicious addition to any brownie.
- Ground oats (or oat flour): Use certified gluten-free if needed. You can make your own oat flour at home by grinding rolled oats in a coffee/spice grinder or blender.
- Maple syrup: Or the liquid sweetener of your choice. If you have a sweet tooth, feel free to adjust this amount to your liking with an extra 1-2 tbsp syrup. For sugar-free brownies, you could use a sugar-free liquid sweetener.
- Baking powder: Will provide some lift to the brownies.
- Espresso powder (optional): Helps to enhance the depth of the cocoa flavor (without tasting like coffee!)
- Salt: Just a pinch, to enhance the cocoa flavor.
- Dairy-free chocolate: You can use chocolate chips or chopped chocolate for within and to top the black bean brownies.
- Natural Extracts: Extracts are an easy way to adapt this healthy brownie recipe. Mint, orange, rose, coffee, almond, etc.
- Spices: You can easily add a dash (or two) of your favorite spices; cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne, ginger – or even candied ginger.
- Citrus zest: Lemon or orange zest of 1/2-1 fruit can really boost flavor.
- Crushed Nuts: You can add a small handful of crushed nuts into the vegan brownies batter or to sprinkle over the top. Walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, and pecans would all work. For nut-free versions, you could add sunflower or pumpkin seeds.
For the full ingredients list, measurements, complete recipe method, and nutritional information, read the recipe card below. Also, read the recipe notes for more ways to adapt this recipe.
How To Make Vegan Black Bean Brownies
Prepare the chia eggs
- First, preheat the oven to 350 °F/175 °C and line a 9×6-inch (23x15cm) baking pan (or 9×5-inch loaf pan) with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides.
- Then prepare the chia eggs by combining 2 tbsp chia seeds with 1/3 cup (75 ml) water, mixing well. Then allow it to sit for a few minutes.
Combine the brownie batter
- Add all the ingredients except the chocolate and chia eggs into a food processor and mix for about 10 seconds.
- Then, scrape down the sides of the jug and add the chia eggs, mixing again until well combined and smooth.
- Finally, add the chopped chocolate and fold in/mix in with a spoon. For sweeter brownies, use 3 oz (90 g). Leave a little to sprinkle over the top of the brownies.
Bake the brownies
- Add the brownie batter to the pan and bake in the oven for 22-25 minutes.
I baked mine for 25 minutes, and they came out fudgy, but not too soft. If you prefer them very gooey and fudgy, then reduce the baking time by a few minutes.
- Let them cool completely (they will firm up once cooled), optionally top with vegan Nutella, slice, and enjoy! Also, they taste even better on day two, so TRY not to eat them all immediately.
How To Store?
You can store these vegan black bean brownies at room temperature (for a few days) or for up to a week in the refrigerator.
Alternatively, store the brownies wrapped tightly in the freezer for up to one month. Thaw them in the refrigerator or defrost/warm in the microwave.
How To Serve
I’m sure you don’t need my advice on how to devour these chewy vegan brownies, but I’ll let you in on a few of my favorite ways anyway:
- With a big scoop of ice-cream; vanilla, chocolate, caramel, peanut butter, etc.
- Drizzled with nut butter and some fresh berries.
- With a glass of your favorite dairy-free milk.
- Warmed up in the microwave for 10-15 seconds and dusted with a little powdered sugar.
- Chop the brownie up into small pieces and sprinkle it over other desserts, like this creamy chocolate pudding.
Can I make these into sugar-free brownies?
Yes, this recipe is already refined sugar-free if using sugar-free chocolate. However, feel free to use a keto sweetener such as Erythritol. You may also be able to experiment with date paste in place of the sugar content – though I haven’t tried.
Can I make these into individual brownie bites?
Yes, you may be able to make these vegan black bean brownies into individual brownie bites by dividing the batter into a cupcake/muffin tin. I haven’t tried this, but I would suggest checking on them at 15 minutes, then increase the baking time if needed.
Can I use dried black beans rather than canned?
You can use dried black beans- but they’ll need to be soaked and cooked prior to using them in this recipe. I’d suggest using 3/4 cup (130 g) of the dried beans to soak and cook. You need 245 g cooked beans.
Recipe Notes & Variations
- You could glaze these vegan black bean brownies with a chocolate frosting, like the one I used for these healthy brownies, or make my vegan Nutella recipe.
- For extra flavor, add a swirl of nut butter through the top of the batter before baking or caramel sauce, like the one I use for these Caramel Stuffed Pancakes.
- Make sure the brownie batter is nice and smooth, so it doesn’t have an odd texture.
- If you don’t have a 9×6-inch pan, you could use a 9×5-inch loaf pan for this black bean brownie recipe.
Other Vegan Gluten-free Brownies
If you enjoyed this black bean brownie recipe, you may enjoy my other healthy vegan brownie recipes:
- Easy Vegan Cheesecake Brownies
- Caramel Chocolate Brownies
- Vegan Zucchini Brownies
- Flourless Chickpea Brownies
- Vegan Sweet Potato Brownies
- Healthy No-Bake Brownies
Or have a look at all of my vegan gluten-free desserts!
If you give these vegan black bean brownies a try, I’d love a comment and ★★★★★ recipe rating below. Also, please don’t forget to tag me in re-creations on Instagram or Facebook with @elavegan and #elavegan – I love seeing them.
Vegan Black Bean Brownies
- 1 (15 oz/400 g) can black beans drained and rinsed
- 2 Tbsp ground chia seeds
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) water
- 1/4 cup (60 g) peanut butter or nut/seed butter of choice
- 1/2 cup (40 g) cocoa powder
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (45 g) ground oats gluten-free if needed (see notes)
- 1/3 cup (110 g) maple syrup (see notes)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp espresso powder (optional)
- 2-3 oz (60-90 g) dairy-free chocolate chopped (or chocolate chips)
- Watch the video in the post for visual instructions.Line a 9x6-inch (23x15 cm) baking pan or 9x5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper (with an overhang on two sides) and preheat your oven to 350 °F (175 °C).
- Combine the ground chia seeds and water in a small bowl and let it sit for a few minutes.
- Meanwhile, add all ingredients (except the dairy-free chocolate) to a food processor and blend for about 10 seconds.
- Scrape down the sides of the food processor, add the chia mixture, and mix again until well combined.
- Now, add the chopped chocolate (or use chocolate chips) and stir with a spoon. You can use less if you prefer the brownies less sweet, or more for sweeter brownies.
- Add the brownie batter to the pan and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, depending on how fudgy you want them to be (shorter baking time means fudgier brownies).
- Let them cool completely (they will firm up once cooled), optionally top with vegan Nutella, slice, and enjoy! They taste even better on day two, so don't eat them all on day one.
- Oats: I used 45 grams of whole-grain rolled oats that I processed in my electric coffee/spice grinder. You can use store-bought oat flour.
- Maple syrup: Or use any liquid sweetener of your choice. If you have a sweet tooth, you can add up to 2 tablespoons of syrup in addition.
- Peanut butter: Any nut butter like almond butter will work. For a nut-free version, use sunflower seed butter or oil.
Nutrition information is an estimate and has been calculated automatically
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can you tell me how much water to add to the flax meal since i don’t have ground chia seeds at the moment? also, which onecan i use, ground flaxseed, or flaxseed meal?
You can use ground flax seeds but only 1/4 cup of water. They don’t bind as good as ground chia seeds.
Best brownie ever! Thank you :))
You are so welcome, Sandra. 🙂
I don’t have chia seeds, do have flax meal and Bob’s Red Mill egg replacer, but not sure how to sub for the chia.
Yes, you could use flax meal (same amount).
Are your black beans cans “no salt added” or with salt? Both types are sold in the US, so I want to select the right type. Thanks!
Hi Luke, I used the regular ones with salt, but either will work. 🙂
Hi Ela, I’ve loved every single recipe of yours that I’ve tried so far and have been recommending you to any interested friends and family! Please could you just confirm whether your centigrade temperature is for a top/bottom heat source, or convection?
Hi Dana, it’s top/bottom heat. So glad you like my recipes. 🙂
I just made these today. They were fantastic! Loved the consistency — turned out firm but moist. It’s incredible that the ingredients are so simple, and feel so guiltless …. I mean, black beans and oats are good for you, right? Used flaxseed, cashew butter, and quick oats, added 1/2 more tbsp of maple syrup and sprinkled with some (non-vegan) peanut butter chips. Baked at 180C for 25 mins. Thank you, Ela, for these yummy, easy and still very healthy recipes! Greetings from Singapore.
You are so welcome, Claire! Happy you loved them. 🙂
My blender wasn’t super efficient so I mixed twice, the batter divided by two. For the second time, I added a bit of plant milk in my blender which made the batter runnier. Added a few chunks of vegan chocolate. It was so good.
(from a non-vegan who loves plant-based food ????)
Hi Alicia, I am so glad you liked them! 🙂
Thanks, this looks delicious! I only have a tiny food processor, would an immersion blender work for mixing the batter? Maybe with a little bit of plant milk?
Hi Nicole, I never tried it, but it might work if you mix it long enough. 🙂
Glad you like them, Amelia. 🙂
I would love to make these but so many of your recipes have GF oat flour which most coeliacs cannot tolerate. Do you have any suggestions for a substitute to make tehm GF?
If using certified oat flour, then it’s 100% gluten-free. Buckwheat flour should work too, though. 🙂
Hi dear Ella,
this brownie was so so good! I loved it. Thank you so much for the recipe. I just made some small changes, instead of maple syrup, I used Agave (I didn’t have the maple syrup) and instead of peanut butter, almond butter.
I’m a big fan of your recipes????
So glad you liked it. 🙂
Parabéns e parabéns pelo passo a passo da receita, muito obrigada.
You are very welcome, Silvana. 🙂
Hi! Loved this❤ Just a small query, can I use honey in place of maple syrup?
Hi Seema! 🙂 Yes, that should be fine.
Excelente! So easy.
So glad you liked them, Caro. 🙂