black bean brownie recipes

3 ways to use black beans

09 Jun 2023

Healthy, full of plant protein, and surprisingly versatile, black beans could fast become a favourite in your kitchen arsenal.

Here’s three of our favourite black bean recipes for you to try.

1.Gooey Black Bean Brownies

Rich, gooey and full of goodness ‘Eat the rainbow’ is often advised when it comes to an antioxidant-rich diet. So, we’ll forgive you for overlooking the black bean, until now! Turns out there’s tons of antioxidant goodness to be found under their ‘dark jacket’.1 Dark chocolate and walnuts are also rich in antioxidants,2,3 so if you’re looking for a naughty yet nice pud – these black bean brownies have you covered.

Makes 12-16 brownies

What you need:

  • 200g dark chocolate (around 60%+ cocoa content), broken up into squares
  • 140g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 can of black beans (400g), drained and rinsed
  • 3 eggs or egg alternative (flax, chia, etc)
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp cacao nibs
  • 80g walnuts, chopped roughly


  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C / 160°C fan / gas mark 4. While you’re waiting, line a 24cm baking tin with parchment paper.
  2. Bring a pan of water to simmer, place a bowl on top (make sure the bottom doesn’t touch the water) and use to melt the chocolate and butter. Once melted, allow to cool a little on the side before stirring in the vanilla extract and cacao powder.
  3. Blend the beans and one egg until smooth in a hand blender then stir into the chocolate and butter mix.
  4. Whisk the other 2 eggs with the sugar until light and creamy then fold into the chocolate mix.
  5. Stir in the walnuts and cacao nibs then pour the whole mixture into the tin and bake for 25 minutes / just set.
  6. Leave it to cool completely, pop in the fridge for an hour, then finally cut into squares and enjoy!

2. Corn & Black Bean Mexican Salad

A delicious way to help keep your cholesterol and weight in check

Did you know?  Eating chickpeas, beans or lentils can help reduce bad cholesterol levels in the body and keep them down, in turn reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.4

Making sure to eat enough beans and legumes regularly could also help you manage your weight. This is thought to be because of their high fibre and protein content, which helps you stay feeling fuller for longer.5

The avocado in this dish is also full of healthy fats and magnesium, which are essential for healthy bones and converting food into energy efficiently. The salad that keeps on giving!

Serves 4

What you need:

  • 100g green beans, cut into 1cm pieces (discard the ends)
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 can of black beans (400g), drained and rinsed
  • 2 big spring onions, sliced finely
  • 1 red pepper, cubed
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 100g tinned sweetcorn
  • 10g fresh coriander, chopped roughly
  • Pinch of salt and ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 large avocado, peeled, stoned and sliced
  • Feta, cubed
  • 1 lime, juiced


  1. Bring a small pan of water to boil and blanch the green beans for approx. 1 min, rinse in cold water and set aside.
  2. Toast the pumpkin seeds in a dry pan for a few minutes, remove from heat and allow to cool.
  3. Combine and toss the remaining ingredients (except the avocado and feta) in a mixing bowl.
  4. Top with crumbled feta, sliced avocado, a squeeze of lime to finish it all off.

3. Sweet Potato & Black Bean Empanadas

A Portuguese treat to help keep your appetite at bay Move over meat! Veggie empanadas can taste just as good and leave you feeling just as, if not more, satisfied, especially when black beans are on the scene. The fibre in black beans digest slowly in your body, so you’re more likely to feel fuller for longer after tucking into these Portuguese treats.6

Makes 16 empanadas

What you need:

  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed into 2cm pieces
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tin of black beans (400g), drained and rinsed
  • 100g cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 tbsp chipotle paste
  • 6 spring onions, sliced finely
  • Salt and pepper (to taste))
  • 2 x 500g puff pastry blacks
  • 1 egg (will be egg wash)
  • 6 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Zest of ½ a lime


  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C / 180°C fan / gas mark 6. While it’s heating up, toss the sweet potato in olive oil and coriander and pop them in a baking tray. Roast until tender (around 20 minutes) and allow to cool.
  2. Once the potatoes have cooled, mash the cheese, beans and chipotle with a fork then add the spring onions and potatoes and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Roll out the pastry and cut into 8 squares. Spoon 2 tbsp of the black bean mixture into the middle of each square. Brush egg wash around the filling and fold one corner to the opposite corner to make a triangle shape. Press the edges together using a fork and give them a good crimping – think Cornish pasty.
  4. Brush the whole thing with remaining egg wash and prick the pastry a couple of times with the fork to make air holes.
  5. Bake for around 20 minutes until crisp and golden. Mix the sour cream with honey and lime as a dip, and serve.

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Last updated: 27 August 2020