by Olena

Black Bean Brownies (Video)

by Olena

4.9 from 12 reviews

Easy Black Bean Brownies with no flour, no oil and no sugar. You can basically have these fudgy healthy brownies for breakfast.

black bean brownies

Black Bean Brownie Recipe

You can find fifty 5 star comments below. These black bean brownies are that good! You can have them for breakfast. Yes, they are that healthy! To be exact – sugar free. Kids beg for brownies with black beans. Did you hear me? Children would like to eat beans! Last time one kid called them “beautiful”.:)

Are you in? I can guarantee you no one will be able to tell the ingredients this black bean brownie recipe calls for!

black bean brownie recipe ingredients

Why Use Black Beans in Brownies?

Why use black beans in brownies? Why can’t you just make black bean mango salad and leave them alone?

Because it just works. Because flourless black bean brownies are just as easy and fudgy as regular brownies. Because black beans have perfect texture and color to replace flour. And finally, because black beans make eating “all you can eat brownies” concept a reality.

healthy black bean brownies

Regular or Medjool Dates?

Most grocery stores carry 2 types of dates: “regular” and Medjool. You can use any. However, I prefer and highly recommend to use Medjool dates. Their meaty and moist texture adds volume and fudgy texture to healthy black brownies. And fresh is best! As dates get older, they dry out and sugars start to crystalize on the outside.

And yes, brownies with dates do not need any other sweetener. Dates contain naturally occuring sugars that are not processed. Essentially, these are sugar free black bean brownies.

black bean brownies with Medjool dates

Can I Use Stevia or Xylitol?

Many ask if they can skip dates altogether and replace with stevia or xylitol. Unfortunately, you cannot. Simply because dates contribute to the volume of brownie batter. We already skipped flour and oil.

Blender Vs. Food Processor:

I process black bean brownie batter in a high speed blender like Blendtec or food processor. Both work. Batter can have some small chunks of dates and beans. It doesn’t have to be smooth.

sugar free black bean brownies

One thing I can tell you for sure – you will struggle with fitting in all ingredients into a mini food processor. I was being lazy. I didn’t want to walk from my studio to the house to get a blender.

I made it work but I don’t recommend to load up this little guy that much.

Tips for Best Black Bean Brownies

  • Drain can with beans. We do not need that gooey liquid.
  • Line baking dish with parchment paper. It makes brownies easy to cut and remove, and ensures they do not fall apart.
  • Let brownies cool off almost completely before slicing. I know it’s hard but please have patience.
  • Brownies become even more fudgy the next day.

how to make black bean brownies

Substitutions for Healthy Black Bean Brownies

I have collected ideas for substitutions from numerous comments below. I follow my simple black bean brownie recipe because I usually have all ingredients on hand. But below is what other readers have tried and worked for them.


  • “Did not have dates so we used prunes instead”.
  • “I didn’t have dates on hand, so I used raisins…”.


  • “…And I also didn’t have applesauce (WHAT?!) so I used an overripe banana”.
  • “I didn’t have apple sauce, so I tossed in a small apple” (puree it i an blender or food processor first).


  • ” I made them vegan by using 2 tablespoon ground flax + 6 tablespoon water to replace the eggs”.

Chocolate Chips

  • “I also only used 1/8 cup of mini chocolate chips”.
  • “I didn’t add the chocolate chips either, to cut down on added sugar, and they still taste great!”
  • “I didn’t have chocolate chips but I did have some cacao nibs, so that’s what went in”.

best black bean brownies

Cacao Powder

You can use cocoa powder instead of cacao powder. What’s the difference between 2?

As per FoodMatters: “Raw cacao is made by cold-pressing un-roasted cacao beans. The process keeps the living enzymes in the cacao and removes the fat (cacao butter). Cocoa looks the same but it’s not.

Cocoa powder is raw cacao that’s been roasted at high temperatures. Sadly, roasting changes the molecular structure of the cacao bean, reducing the enzyme content and lowering the overall nutritional value.”


Brewed coffee adds more depth to chocolate flavor. But you can skip it. Not crucial for the best black bean brownie result.

Black Beans

Black beans are crucial for successful brownies with black beans. Sounds pretty legit.:) Lentils are not a substitute. If you have cooked at home black beans, use about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups.

best black bean brownies

How Many Calories in Black Bean Brownies?

I would like to compare black bean brownie vs. traditional brownie side by side:

  • Calories: 119 vs. 365 calories
  • Carbs: 22 vs. 50 grams
  • Sugar: 14 vs. 33 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 1 vs. 3 grams
  • Sodium: 187 vs. 300 grams

Can You Freeze the Brownies?

Yes. Place in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw on a counter at room temperature for about 30 minutes. I freeze cut up brownies right in Pyrex glass container I bake in. It comes with a plastic lid. Just lift a few with a butter knife and defrost. Perfect!

More Healthy Brownies Recipes to Try


Black Bean Brownies

4.9 from 12 reviews

Easy Black Bean Brownies Recipe with no flour, no oil and no sugar. You can basically have these fudgy healthy brownies for breakfast.

  • Author: Olena of
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 16 brownies 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: North American


  • 14 oz can low sodium black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 2 eggs, large
  • 1/2 cup applesauce, unsweetened
  • 15 small or 10-12 Medjool dates, pitted (1/2 cup packed)
  • 2 tbsp brewed coffee (optional)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup + 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • Cooking spray (I use Misto)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 8 x 8 square baking dish with unbleached parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
  2. In a powerful blender or food processor add ingredients in the following order: eggs, applesauce, black beans, cacao powder, coffee, vanilla, baking soda, salt and dates; then process until smooth. Add 1/4 cup chocolate chips and stir to mix.
  3. Pour batter into baking dish, top with 1/4 cup chocolate chips and bake for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven and let brownies cool for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely before slicing. Cut into 16 squares.

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.


I have to say that it’s crucial you use parchment paper and let brownies cool before slicing.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

131 comments on “Black Bean Brownies (Video)

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  1. WOW! I was skeptical, but these were WAY better than I expected. Even my kids loved them! I added a little Splenda and a touch more Vanilla. When I make these again, I’m going to try to add some whey powder to it for a bit more protein. This is now part of my pre-workout meal.

    1. Glad you enjoyed. May I suggest to look into Splenda, it is made in the lab and is very bad for you. These brownies are sweet enough with dates. I have a protein brownie recipe but it’s made with plant-based protein powder, even better than whey. More plants is better.:)

  2. Just made these today. Yummy! Moist and delicious Did not have dates so we used prunes instead. Could not wait till they cooled so cutting was a little bit messy. Definitely another keeper, Olena.

  3. Yummy! I love treats that I can feel good about eating, and this recipe is so stinkin’ easy. I didn’t have dates on hand, so I used raisins, and I also didn’t have applesauce (WHAT?!) so I used an overripe banana. Turned out great! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    1. Hi Delaney. A++ for creativity. You must have Eastern European blood in you.:) I agree about treats – it better be useful I don’t feel guilty afterwards.

  4. These look really good! We have been using a recipe that only uses black beans, water, and brownie mix. And it is only 20 calories per slice. Our food processor went to pot a while ago and we only have a blender now. Will try these next.

      1. We have made a lentil soup and a vegan meatloaf with lentils and carrots and other ingredients like brown rice. It was really good but do not know about using in sweets.

  5. Felt I should comment because I’ve made these brownies so many times now! What a great recipe, so pleased you shared it. Thank you! 🙂

    1. Yay! I hear so many times from people I meet, like even close friends, that the have been making this or that recipe of mine so many times and yet no one left a comment. So glad you did!:)

  6. What an absolutely delicious recipe! Thanks so much for this great recipe…healthy and so tasty! I have made it quite a few times and dazzle friends when I tell them what is inside of the brownies. Definitely one of my favorite!

  7. About seven months ago I cut out all processed foods and added sugar (including honey, no-calorie sweeteners, agave, etc.) from my diet. I have only been able to find a few recipes that adhere to my new way of eating to help me tame my sweet tooth. Thank you so much for posting this recipe! While putting the batter in the pan I had a little taste, and it tastes like legit brownie batter. I didn’t add the chocolate chips either, to cut down on added sugar, and they still taste great! You rock my socks off, lady!

    1. Maybe Greek yogurt but I haven’t tried. Maybe any other fruit puree that is mild in taste…Applesauce is the best though. I tried to replace applesauce with Greek yogurt in banana muffins and it wasn’t the same.

  8. These look great! Would there be a way to substitute the chocolate chips with unsweetened cocoa powder and honey/molasses/maple syrup/some other unrefined sugar? Thx!

      1. Thank you for this website! I love it! I’ve made several of the recipes and my family lived them all ! I can’t wait to try more

  9. I couldn’t wait to make these. I’ve never tried anything even remotely similar to them and was very skeptical. Well, first of all, I’m so glad that I too have the ultimate Ninja. Makes life so much easier :). Second, these were delicious!! My husband isn’t home from work yet and he will be the hardest to sell these to. (I’m not going to tell him what’s in them until after he eats one). But myself and our 2 and 3 year olds LOVE them!!

  10. They’re good! I was so skeptical but my new refined sugar free diet pushed me to actually make them. I added a few extra dates. The texture is very smooth, similar to fudgy. I can’t tell its dates or black beans, but I can tell that the a quite different from traditional brownies. I am so happy I found these and will rely on these for my chocolate fix while I am sugar free.

  11. This turn out amazing! Soo good. I’m going to surprise my girlfriend with these brownies. She was placed on a low sugar no starch diet. Brownies were her fav dessert. I can’t wait to have her try these. Thank you so much, Olena!!!

  12. Hi! These look so good… problem is, I’m on an absolutely no sugar diet. Only things I’m allowed are stevia and xylitol… any chance you think these would work with either of those? I’m just worried that the dates would be what make them a nice texture!

    1. To get rid of sugar, you would also have to remove the chocolate chips which will result in very bitter brownies. Black beans with stevia…I don’t think it will taste good.:) Then you might want to try my Fudgy Vegan Protein Brownies, where a lot of texture and flavour comes from stevia sweetened plant based protein powder.

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