Black Bean Brownies are ultra fudgy, full of chopped pecans, and secretly grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, full of fiber, and super addicting.  Everyone will be asking you for this easy and healthy black bean brownie recipe!

A stack of black bean brownies with pecans in a white baking dish.

Secretly Healthy Black Bean Brownies

There is a mischievious side of me that LOVES to try out not-so-ordinary recipes and see if anyone notices the healthy ingredient swaps.  These black bean brownies are the perfect example!

After having dozens of friends and family members try them out, no one had any idea that the ultra-fudgy texture, rich and chocolatey flavor came from a combination of canned black beans, regular cocoa powder, and a hint of prepared coffee.  And they definitely did not know they were gluten-free, grain-free, vegetarian, and dairy-free!

Have you ever made a black bean brownie recipe?  How did they turn out for you?

There are a few key steps you will want to follow when preparing this healthy brownie recipe that I want to make sure you do not miss.  Below you will learn how to make black bean brownies, a key step when preparing the canned black beans, what special kitchen gadgets you will need, how to know when your brownies are done baking, and how to store brownies for best day-after eating results!

A white baking dish full of black bean brownies next to a bowl full of pecans.

How to Make Black Bean Brownies

This black bean brownie recipe is a super easy and healthy dessert recipe that even a beginner baker will be able to follow.  The steps include (see below for full recipe!):

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Rinse and dry your canned black beans THOROUGHLY.  (More on this below!)
  • Add your beans and wet ingredients to a food processor and process until completely smooth.
  • Whisk together the dry ingredients and add them to the processor.  Process until a thick brownie batter forms.
  • Coarsely chop pecans, walnuts, or other nut of choice and MIX IN BY HAND.  (Don’t accidentally turn on the processor like I have done before!)
  • Line a square baking pan with parchment paper and pour in the brownie batter.
  • Bake for 28-32 minutes, or until baked to your desired level of fudginess!

Are Black Bean Brownies Healthy for You?

In a short answer… sort of.  While these brownies are full of fiber, free of refined sugar, gluten-free, and dairy-free, they do still have a bit of sugar in them.  So go ahead and eat a brownie or two, but you might want to avoid devouring the entire tray!

Canned black beans in a mesh strainer.

Rinse and Repeat!

When preparing the canned black beans to go into your brownie batter you want to make sure you rinse, rinse, and rinse them again.  You can either use a colander (like you would for pasta) or a fine mesh strainer (my personal favorite and pictured above.)

The mesh strainer works best because you can watch the water coming out of the black beans.  The water will initially be a dark brown and will slowly lighten up as the extra juices are rinsed away from the beans.  You will know the beans are completely rinsed once the water runs clear.

After rinsing the black beans, dry them THOROUGHLY.  If the beans are not dried completely the black bean brownies will never cook fully.  The best way to dry your beans is to lay them out on a towel and dab with another towel or paper towel.  Repeat this process a few times until the towel is no longer wet after dabbing.

Ingredients for a gluten free black bean brownie recipe in a food processor.

What Kitchen Gadgets and Utensils Will You Need?

As mentioned previously, you will need either a colander or a fine mesh strainer to rinse the black beans.  A few other appliances and utensils you will want to have for this black bean brownie recipe include:

  • Food processor – A processor is the best appliance when it comes to controlling the consistency of the brownie batter, however, you can also use a high-speed blender such as a Vitamix.
  • French press or coffee maker – You can use whatever coffee you happen to have leftover from that day, but I find the coffee from a French press has the perfect level of potency.

Cook’s Tip: If you do not have coffee or do not like the flavor of it, simply substitute for 1 tablespoon of milk or almond milk.

  • Square baking dish – In this recipe I use a ceramic baking dish since it bakes more evenly then metal and looks pretty when serving.  If using a metal baking pan, be sure to use a lighter metal pan for best results.

Chopped pecans on a white cutting board.

How to Know When Brownies Are Done?

Knowing when brownies are done depends on whether you want more cake-like brownies or extra fudgy brownies.  However, there are a few key things to notice when checking your black bean brownies for doneness:

  • The brownies will begin to pull away slightly from the edge of the pan.
  • When you shake the pan the middle of the brownies do not jiggle.
  • The center of the brownies will begin to rise and cracks will form across the top.
  • A toothpick will come out with a few crumbs of brownie and will not be coated in brownie batter.
  • Your house smells like you just baked a fabulous batch of black bean brownies!

A bite taken out of a stack of brownies.

A Brownie Science Experiment

I have to confess.. It took THREE rounds of recipe testing to perfect these brownies… and I did all three of those batches within 24 hours.  We were literally SWIMMING in black bean brownies.

Because of this, we had about 12 of these brownies get pushed to the side (the test batch that did not pass the test!) and were ultimately forgotten.  Much like anything else that is super moist, fudgy, and delicious, these brownies developed a good bit of mold after a week at room temperature.  So from that experiment I learned…

How to Store Brownies:

Room Temperature: If you are going to enjoy these black bean brownies within 2-3 days, simply leave them at room temperature in an airtight container.

Refrigeration: If you would like them to last for 4-5 days, allow them to come to room temperature before storing them in the refrigerator.

Freezer: Additionally, these brownies will freeze fabulously if wrapped tightly in wax paper and then stored in an airtight container.

A hand grabbing a fudgy black bean brownie from a stack of brownies.

Other Recipes You Might Enjoy:

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 2 votes

Black Bean Brownies with Pecans

Black Bean Brownies are ultra fudgy, full of chopped pecans, and secretly grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, full of fiber, and super addicting.  
Yield 16 servings
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 30 minutes
Total 35 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 15 oz. canned black beans rinsed and dried thoroughly
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. coffee prepared
  • 3 Tbsp. coconut oil melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder regular
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. tapioca starch or corn starch
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup pecans coarsely chopped

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Rinse and dry canned black beans thoroughly in a mesh strainer or colander.  If any excess moisture is left they will not bake properly.
  • Add black beans, maple syrup, eggs, prepared coffee, oil, and vanilla to the bowl of a food processor.  Process for 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides every 30 seconds, or until mixture is completely smooth and no black bean lumps remain.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together the cocoa powder, coconut sugar, tapioca starch, baking powder, and salt.  Add dry ingredients to the food processor and process for 15-30 seconds or until completely incorporated.
  • Mix in nuts by hand until just combined.  Line an 8x8-inch or 9x9-inch baking dish with parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Pour batter into pan and spread with a knife or spoon.
  • Bake for 28-32 minutes, depending on desired level of fudginess and size of pan.  (Center should no longer jiggle and toothpick should come out with a few pieces of brownie on it.)
  • Let cool to room temperature before cutting.  Enjoy!

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 2 votes

Nutrition

Calories: 166kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 20mg, Sodium: 171mg, Potassium: 230mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 12g, Vitamin A: 35IU, Vitamin C: 0.8mg, Calcium: 46mg, Iron: 1.4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Comments

  1. I looooooove black bean brownies, and haven’t made them in so long! I am saving your recipe to make soon (I always have a brownie craving…)

  2. Made these substituting 1.5 cups baked sweet potato for the black beans and baked them a bit longer. Oh my heavens! It was like straight fudge. So creamy and chocolately and delicious!!

  3. Right now I’m at the point where I’m still hestitant about making black bean brownies, as you say, I have read enough recipes that say they are sooo good, but still I have my doubts. This recipe with no sugar and no butter, really called my attention. I’m pinning it, to keep it handy when I decide to make them.

    1. So glad it caught your attention, Azu! Let me know what you think when you finally convert to the dark, black bean side 🙂