Gluten-free 5-ingredient Protein Brownie (Very Easy)

Hello friends! Today I’m revealing my top-secret recipe for the ultimate GUILT-FREE protein brownies made with – wait for it – kidney beans! I know it sounds crazy, but trust me when I say these are the fudgiest, most decadent brownies that happen to be vegan, lower-cal, and secretly healthy!

Bean brownie

As a longtime baker and nutrition coach, I’ve become obsessed with recreating classic treats to be nutritious as well as delicious.

In this post, I’ll walk you through exactly how to make this gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free vegan brownie, step-by-step! Let’s dive in!

Ingredients and their benefits

This recipe is a must if you are looking for a healthier treat option. It doesn’t contain flour, dairy, or eggs. Just with 5 essential ingredients, you can make a nutritious and tasty treat!

Bean brownie ingredients on the wooden board

Red kidney beans

The base of the brownies, kidney beans provide a good source of fiber and plant-based protein to keep you full. They act as a binder.

Almond butter

In addition to protein and healthy fats, almond butter boosts flavor and texture. Its nutty richness takes the brownies up a notch.

Maple syrup

With some natural sweetness, maple syrup allows you to use less added sugar. It provides moisture and adds a unique rich flavor.

Protein powder

Extra protein powder thickens the batter for a fudgy texture while also increasing nutrition.

Cocoa powder

Unsweetened cocoa provides that rich chocolate flavor we crave without the dairy. It packs in antioxidants too.

Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate on the plate

Adding some dark chocolate to the porridge is my favorite thing! I really can’t miss this ingredient anymore! It gives a rich flavor to the porridge and goes so well with fruits and nuts!

Sea salt

A touch of sea salt balances out the sweetness and enhances all the deep chocolate notes. That is my secret ingredient for most of the desserts.

Protein brownie: step-by-step

This recipe is a great treat for those who are looking for a healthier option! Just 5 ingredients, no flour, eggs, or butter!

Get all the ingredients

First, take a moment to prepare your cooking space. Gather all the ingredients, utensils, and a kitchen scale you’ll need for the recipe. Having everything within reach will streamline your cooking process.

Bean brownie ingredients on the wooden board
Image by: Janis Pavulans

At this initial stage, it’s also important to preheat your oven to 180°C (356°F). This ensures the oven reaches the correct temperature by the time you’re ready to bake, contributing to an efficient and effective cooking experience.

Rinse and drain

Give those beans a good rinse and drain them well. If you’re embarking on the adventure of cooking them from scratch, don’t worry! I’ve got you covered with a handy guide on how to cook legumes perfectly.

Whether you’re working with canned beans or starting with the dry ones, this step is your starting line for a delicious journey ahead.

It’s Blend time!

Now, let’s make some magic happen in the kitchen! Toss those well-drained beans, almond butter, maple syrup, protein powder, cocoa powder, and just a pinch of salt into your food processor.

Ready for the fun part? Hit that blend button and watch as everything combines into a wonderfully smooth mixture. Keep blending until it’s completely silky – we’re talking no lumps, just smooth, flavorful goodness that’s going to be the base of something delicious!

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Take the jar of the blender, carefully scrape down the sides as needed, and add chocolate chips (no need to use the blender anymore)

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Fold in the chocolate chips or chunks or just chopped dark chocolatte.

Baking time

Line the baking tray with parchment paper

Baking dish

Pour the brownie batter into the prepared baking dish and spread it out evenly

Pouring batter into a baking dish

Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 20-25 minutes

Putting brownie into the oven

Cool Down

Once done, remove the brownies from the oven and allow them to cool down

Baked brownie in the tray

Once the brownies are completely cool, slice them into squares or bars, and they’re ready to enjoy!

Sliced bean brownie on the wooden board

Remember, this recipe is for 9 portions, and calories are counted for one portion.

Protein Brownie

Recipe by Ksenija PecerskaCourse: DessertCuisine: MediterraneanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time






  • 450 grams of Red kidney beans or chickpeas (any kind of beans you like)

  • 100 grams of Almond butter

  • 130 grams Maple syrup

  • 20 grams Cocoa powder

  • 40 grams of Dark Chocolate Chips

  • Sea salt to taste


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease a square baking dish or line it with parchment paper for easy removal.
  • Rinse and drain the red kidney beans or chickpeas thoroughly. This will help remove any excess starch and improve the texture of your brownies.
  • In a food processor, combine the beans, almond butter, maple syrup, protein powder, cocoa powder, and a pinch of sea salt. Blend until the mixture is smooth and all the ingredients are well combined. You might need to scrape down the sides of the processor bowl a couple of times to ensure everything is mixed properly.
  • Fold the dark chocolate chips into the brownie batter. These will add a delightful touch of sweetness and texture to your brownies.
  • Pour the brownie batter into the prepared baking dish and spread it out evenly.
    Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached.
  • Once done, remove the brownies from the oven and allow them to cool in the dish for a while before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Once the brownies are completely cool, slice them into squares or bars, and they’re ready to enjoy!


  • Calories are counted for one portion – 100 grams


The possibilities are endless when it comes to customizing this recipe to your tastes or what you have on hand.

  • Swap kidney beans for other legumes (chickpeas, black beans, cannellini beans)
  • Add crunch with nuts (walnuts, pecan nuts, almonds, cashews)
  • Mix in dried fruit (dried apricots, cranberries, sultanas, cherries)
  • Fold in chocolate (dark, milk, white, butterscotch chips)
  • Stir in other mix-ins (peanut, almond, cashew, coconut flakes, granola)
  • Adjust sweeteners (maple syrup, agave syrup, honey, applesauce)
  • Experiment with spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, vanilla bean, tonka bean)

When customizing these brownies, be mindful of how each ingredient affects nutrients and calories – for example, choosing dark chocolate over milk chocolate will mean less sugar, or opting for almond butter over peanut butter gives you more healthy fats.

Keep your health goals in focus when substituting or adding new mix-ins to your protein brownie.

Wrap up

And there you have it, friends – my top-secret recipe for incredibly fudgy, protein brownies that happen to be vegan and guilt-free! I sincerely hope you love sinking your teeth into this irresistible, nutrient-dense, gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free treat!

This recipe is super easy and doesn’t require any chef skills. But if you are looking to elevate your cooking skills, check out my post on how to learn to cook like a chef!

Bean brownie

If you’re exploring more plant-based proteins, be sure to check the post on the 9 best vegan protein powders to find one that fits your needs.

Stick around for more of my favorite better-for-you desserts and recipes coming your way soon. If you enjoyed this post, check out my other recipes. Remember, one bite at a time, and have a great week!

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