Try Adding This To Your Brownie Mix

July 2, 2012   40 Comments

I bet you are wondering what “this” is - and it is a natural ingredient from a plant. Not the plant most of you are thinking of because this is a family website.

Black Bean Brownie Recipe

I am talking about black beans!! I posted this recipe back in 2010, and the feedback has been great. Here is one comment from PattiR:

If you haven't tried this recipe - drop what you're doing....go the store, buy the two ingredients and rush home. IT'S DELISH!

I've made this several times and no one has guessed that there are BB in it. I've found if i undercook them just a little bit, it's more dense which is how I like my brownies. A-W-E-S-O-M-E-N-E-S-S!!!

Why would you add black beans instead of oil and an egg?

First, let's look at calories. For 1/3 cup canola oil and one egg (which is what you add to my favorite brownie mix) you are looking at 705 calories vs. 315 for the can of black beans. But the comparison shouldn't stop there, because the black beans have ZERO saturated fat - while the egg and oil combination has 6.7 grams (for the entire brownie mix).

Also, with black beans you will be adding fiber. Black beans have 24% of your daily value of fiber in 1/2 cup.

How does it taste? It is kinda amazing because I didn't tell people about the beans and they loved the brownies. Why? The mix alone has sugar, chocolate, and chocolate chips! My favorite mix is Ghirardelli Chocolate - Double Chocolate Brownie Mix. How could you mess it up? Honestly, you can't taste the beans.

My brownies turned out a bit more like cake than I like. I like really chewy brownies. PattiR tried undercooking them and I have heard that it works. Even with the addition of black beans, this is still a treat so be careful of your serving size.

I have heard that adding a can of pumpkin is another way to have delicious brownies with fewer calories.

I am reposting this recipe because so many have asked for nutrition information and Points+ values.

Have any of you tried altering brownie mixes? What have you found?


Healthier Brownies Recipe

1.6 from 24 reviews

(Makes 16 brownies)

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1 15.5 ounce can black beans
1 package brownie mix (20 ounces)


Blend UNDRAINED black beans in food processor or blender until smooth. Mix in with brownie mix and bake following package directions. Try under baking them for a chewier brownie.

For the nutrition calculation, I used Ghiradelli Ultimate Fudge Brownie mix as my sample mix. I believe it is representative of these mixes.

Nutrition Facts

One brownie is 154 calories, 4.2 g fat, 30 g carbohydrates, 17 g sugar, 2.5 g protein, 2.3 g fiber, 103 mg sodium, 4 Points+

Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only. See all Snack Girl Recipes

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Has anyone tried replacing butter/oil in a regular brownie recipe with black beans?

Great idea!! I've seen a lot of black bean brownie recipes, but never in a pre-packaged brownie mix! Love it!

Yes. Hungry Girl does that all the time.I have heard of this idea too, I just haven't tried any substitutions yet.

You can use: Greek Yogurt
Black Beans,
Canned or Fresh Pure Pumpkin
or a can of Cream soda.

So, if I'm making them from scratch I just leave out the eggs & oil & replace with the same amount of any of the listed substitutions? I always have Greek yogurt in the house. Will that replace both eggs & oil?

Instead of using the beans and the 'juice' from the can, I rinsed them. Then put the beans back in the can and filled it with water. Turned out great.

Forget about the beans! I want to know more about that brownie pan!!!!

@Mark - the brownie pan is really cool - I wrote about it in my first post about the brownies - they just pop out the perfect size - see:…

I like using pumpkin the best as a substitute for oil & eggs or butter when it comes to cake & brownies. It tends to give them a chewier texture along with slightly undercooking them. I use the Vitatop brownie or muffin mix. The best part is you can lick the batter or eat it it straight up without risk of getting sick. I like to make the batter and slightly warm it to where it's still gooey like a pudding consistancy. You can also freeze the batter slightly for a cold treat.

How do you determine how much pumpkin to use?

My daughter's Brownie troop made these when they were camping because some of the girls and their leader are vegan. My daughter (who is a picky eater) came home raving about them and how black beans taste like chocolate. She has been begging me to make them. I will definitely try them. Thanks for putting the nutritional value (calorie count) on there b/c I am counting calories but always allow some extra for sweet treats.

My friend made these -- DELICIOUS!

I have noticed that black beans are typically high in sodium, especially if you don't drain them. Wouldn't using them be bad for you? Love the idea behind this recipe but really need to watch my sodium intake - reason for the question. Thanks!

Have you tried Happy Herbivore black bean brownies? They are healthy and *totally* yummy! To me they taste more like chocolate banana bread than brownies, but they are so, so good and guilt free.

These taste great! I rinse the beans & then put them back in the can & add fresh water to the top. That removes most of the sodium from the beans. Brownies made this way are very rich & no one will guess how they are made unless you tell them!

Love Nordic Ware! What a great idea using a scone pan for brownies.

I don't generally use a brownie mix since I have an awesome and easy "from scratch" recipe. If you know of a way to alter it, I would definitely try it because 2 sticks of butter is a heck of a lot of fat! Recipe is below.

Melt 2 sticks of butter and 4 oz unsweetened chocolate ("Baker's" chocolate") in a pot on the stove. When melted, remove from burner and mix in 4 eggs, one at a time with a wooden spoon or wisk (a fork doesn't work - it gets all weird). Mix in 1 tsp vanilla, a pinch of salt, 2 c sugar, and 1 c flour. Bake at 350 for ____ min. Rats, I can't remember off the top of my head how long you bake it for. This is very similar to the brownie recipe in Joy of Cooking, so you can cook it for as long as they say in there.

These are REALLY fudgy brownies, but are defintely not even remotely good for you (well, there is chocolate in them, but that's about it). If you can magic these up and make them more healthy, you would totally be my hero Lisa. because they are the BEST BROWNIES EVER.

If you're using pumpkin for the average brownie mix and Vitatop mix.I use an entire 15.5-16 oz can and that's it,nothing else

For a low fat banana bread/muffin recipe, I substitute oil with one container of unsweetened apple sauce which is about 1/3 of a cup. A way to cut down on sugar, is putting more nutmeg or cinnamon into the mixture and just adding a bit of sugar. But I'll definitely use black beans for brownies...

This sounds very interesting I may have to give it a try. This weekend I made brownies but I bought a mix from Trader Joe's and all it needed was vanilla greek yogurt, nothing else. OMG!! They turned out delicious not cake like at all very chewy and a lot less calories than using eggs and oil.

Thanks Brandy, I'm going to give this a try today.

One of my favorite adds to brownie mix is cherry or raspberry pie filling. It does up the sugar if you're watching the carbs but there is no added oil so the points are still low. I love raspberry and chocolate. I also add the pie filling to cake mixes.

This looks awesome! Wonder how many try using both plants LOL...

Shirley - Im going to try the Trader Joe mix as well...

I've tried brownies with black beans in them once, a long time ago! And it tasted great, but yours sounds better since it is more "professionally" made by Ghirardelli! :D

it's always been my favorite trick!

You can also make the brownies from scratch and avoid all the additives and chemically made ingredients. My recipe is here:…

I made these after dinner last night, and they were a hit! I used my Magic Bullet to blend the beans and it worked great. My 12 year old daughter came in the kitchen as I was adding the beans to the mix, and asked what it was, so I fibbed and said it was a blended chocolate mix. She said they were really good, but a little salty. (I didn't notice that they tasted salty.) After she finished the brownie I told her that they were made with black beans. She said, "Oh Gross!" but then after a short pause asked for another one. :)

I made some Gluten free black bean brownies for a friend, and they are amazing !! no flour. recipe #255239

I made these for the family today and they LOVED them! My little sister knew what was up because I made her the "cookie dough" dip with chickpeas before so she asked. My mom was super surprised and happy that these were made with black beans and with the calories. Thanks SnackGirl!!

weight watchers also has this as one of their recipes for very low points, with a fat free cool whip topping.

Made these tonight. No kidding when I say the best brownies ever. :)

I tried this and it sort of worked. I did what some commenters suggested and rinsed the beans and replaced the "juice" with water. I used a Magic Bullet to blend the beans and added it to the mix and baked it as the instructions on the box said. It took another 15 minutes of baking to get the mix cooked through. I found that the resulting brownies were a little bit "rubbery". I don't know if I did something wrong with the cooking time, but I don't know if I'll try this again. The taste was fine, but the texture was totally off. I was really hoping it would work 'cause it sounds a little healthier than using the oil and eggs.

In a fit of Weight Watchers-induced munchies, my wife gave me this recipe to try today. I did, thankfully having a box of the Ghirardelli brownies on hand. They came out perfect. I didn't vary from the above recipe at all. If you decided to make this stick with the Ghirardelli brownie mix as's heaps better than any other box brownie out there.

So I've never felt the need to comment on anything I've read online before, however, today is different. These brownies are amazing!! My 5 year old may eat the entire pan...and he knows there are beans in them!!

Have made these twice. First time I used a "chewy brownie" mix. They were ok, you could taste the black beans a little but no big deal. We ate them all, and yes, we includes my husband and 5 y.o. Second time I uses the Gheradelli mix. OMG! So good!! This is all I'm buying from now on and since I'm doing WW this is for sure my new favorite "treat"!!!

I have housemates who don't eat eggs (it's against their religion) so I have gotten into the habit of replacing eggs with flaxmeal (1 Tbsp to 3 Tbsp water for each egg). Does not affect the flavor or texture of any baked goods and it's GOOD for you! Also, I always only ever use applesauce instead of oil in baking (I'm a WW). No one knows unless I tell them...


I have a black bean brownie recipe. Would you be able to break down the calories, fat, carbs, sugar, protein, fiber, etc. as well as WW points, please?


1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

3 eggs
3 T. oil
1/4 c. cocoa
pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. sugar
1 t. instant coffee (opt.)
1/2 c. choc. chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8x8 square baking dish. Combine the black beans, eggs, oil, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla extract, sugar, and instant coffee in a blender; blend until smooth; stir in choc. chips.

2. Bake until the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 30 minutes.

Thank you!

I made the pumpkin version suggested in the comments. They were a big hit with my family. Now, I want to try the bean version and SG's white bean blondies too!

I made these the other day and since I was in fear of being able to taste the beans threw the brownie mixture I added a half a cup of mini semi sweet chocolate chips. They were chewy, and gooey and just darn right delicious and I could tell there was a bean anywhere. Thanks for the recipe..... My kids approve..............

Ummmmm I ment I couldn't tell there was a bean anywhere. Thanks for the recipe

Have made these brownies for about fifteen yeare, using the Betty Crocker Original (or Dark Chocolate) Brownie Mix(es), with delicious results. All of my family (including 11 grandchildren) think they're great! Just got a request to bake them for a high school graduation party. Will try out a GF mix this time as well making two different batches), as this granddaughter's dad has developed a problem with gluten. I'm using a Betty Crocker GF mix--we'll see how it works. I have always rinsed the beans, returned to the can and then replaced the liquid with water before whirring in blender; gets rid of that pesky sodium-already enough in mix-and potassium, which I have to watch.

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