Quick and easy extra fudgy healthy brownies are gluten-free, vegan, and made with chickpeas, cocoa powder, almond flour, and maple syrup. They’re naturally dairy-free, super chocolatey, and a healthy alternative to regular brownies!
Best fudgy chickpea brownies that are secretly healthy
These fudgy chickpea brownies are our go-to dessert, along with these mini cheesecakes and avocado banana brownies. These brownies stand out because they are so moist and fudgy. In fact, they were one of the first recipes on my blog; I just decided to update the pictures. They’re similar to my signature chickpea blondies with a chocolate twist!
I love that you cannot taste the chickpeas in these brownies. The chocolate flavor and sweet fudgy texture completely mask the presence of chickpeas. The chickpeas pack protein, help achieve the best velvety texture, and there are no eggs in these brownies.
These healthy brownies are so easy to make. I left straightforward instructions below and walked you through each step. Honestly, these brownies are so good that they are better than traditional ones. I can’t forget that they’re also healthier, vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and refined suagr free.
These fudgy chickpea brownies taste as good as they look – I promise. The soft and gooey inside with the crunch from the chocolate chips is out of this world. This is my favorite brownie recipe in the world. Every bite is heaven.
Why you’ll love this gluten-free & vegan recipe:
- Super Fudgy: These brownies are both gluten-free and vegan, and they’re incredibly fudgy.
- Healthy Ingredients: Made with chickpeas, almond flour, and almond butter for plant-based protein, healthy fats, and fiber.
- Rich in Protein: Each brownie contains 8 grams of protein.
- Naturally Gluten-Free: We use almond flour!
- No Refined Sugar: Sweetened with pure maple syrup and coconut sugar, no refined sugar added.
- Allergy-Friendly: Perfect for those with dietary restrictions – gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan.
- Kid-Approved: Even picky eaters won’t detect the chickpeas; it’s a sneaky way to include legumes.
- Ingredient Substitutes: You can easily swap out ingredients if needed; see instructions below.
- More Brownie Recipes: If you love brownies, you need to try these healthy avocado banana brownies or these flourless brownies!
Ingredients and substitutions
You only need a handful of simple ingredients to make these rich, fudgy gluten-free, vegan brownies. They’re made with chickpeas, almond flour, almond butter, and cocoa powder. Plus, these brownies are healthy, tasty, and dairy-free. Here is a list of all the ingredients needed for this recipe:
- Chickpeas: You need one 15-ounce can. You CANNOT TASTE the chickpeas. They add moisture, help create a fudgy texture, and add plant-based protein.
- Almond Butter: We use almond butter for these vegan brownies instead of eggs. It adds to the richness and fudginess of the brownies. You can also use cashew butter, peanut butter, or sun butter.
- Pure Maple Syrup: I wrote “pure” because using unprocessed maple syrup is important, not pancake table syrup. It adds natural sweetness and moisture to the brownies.
- Vanilla Extract: It enhances the flavor of the brownies.
- Coconut Sugar: For some additional sweetness. You can also use light or dark brown sugar.
- Almond Flour: Instead of regular flour, we use almond flour, which makes these brownies naturally gluten-free. Almond flour adds structure and moisture to the brownies. Do not use coconut flour!
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: This adds the classic chocolate flavor and deep color of these gluten-free vegan brownies.
- Baking Powder: Helps the brownies rise slightly.
- Salt: For that sweet and salty combination. Salt enhances the chocolate taste.
- Dairy-Free Chocolate Chips: They melt into pockets of chocolate throughout the brownies, adding extra indulgence and texture. So good!
Kitchen tools needed
Here is a list of the kitchen tools you will need to make these extra fudgy chocolate chickpea brownies. Clean-up is easy.
- Food processor
- 8″ x 8″ baking pan
- Parchment paper
- Mixing bowl
- Spatula (for folding in chocolate chips)
- Oven mitts (for handling hot pans)
- Measuring Tools: 1/2 teaspoon, 1 teaspoon, and 1/4 cup.
How to make healthy chickpea brownies
These fudgy vegan and gluten-free brownies are incredibly delicious and so easy to make! They’re made with a secret ingredient: chickpeas. Here are step-by-step instructions with pictures for visual reference:
Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line an 8″ x 8″ baking tin with parchment paper.
Drain and rinse the chickpeas thoroughly, then gently pat them dry using a paper towel.
Combine chickpeas, almond butter, pure maple syrup, vanilla extract, coconut sugar, almond flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a food processor.
Process the mixture for 30 to 50 seconds or until completely smooth and creamy. Ensure there are no visible chunks of chickpeas.
Remove the blade from the food processor and gently fold in ½ cup of dairy-free chocolate chips by hand.
Spread the batter evenly into the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of chocolate chips on top of the batter.
Finally, bake the brownies in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.
Once baked, remove the brownies from the oven and let them cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. This helps them set properly. Once cooled, use the parchment paper overhang to lift the brownies out of the pan. Place them on a cutting board and slice into squares. Enjoy!
Expert baking tips for chickpea brownies:
- Use good quality cocoa powder. This is my #1 baking tip for brownies, especially these fudgy chickpea brownies. Use high-quality cocoa powder like Ghirardelli for the best-tasting, rich, chocolatey brownies. If you use a poor-quality brand like Trader Joe’s or Hersey’s, your brownies will lack the chocolate flavor and can be chalky.
- Spoon and level the almond flour (or use a scale). DO NOT scoop the almond flour straight out of the bag because you’ll pack it down and add too much. Spooning and leveling ensures that you don’t add too much almond flour to the brownie batter. If you do, the brownies will be dry.
- Blend until smooth. When processing the chickpea mixture in the food processor, blend until completely smooth. This ensures a silky texture and eliminates any graininess from the chickpeas.
- Let your brownies cool before slicing. Make sure to let your oat flour brownies cool for at least 1 hour before cutting them into squares. If not, they will crumble and fall apart.
- Don’t overbake them. Overbaked brownies are dry and crumbly. Keep an eye on your brownies in the oven since each oven heats differently.
- Use cashew butter instead. You can use cashew butter if you don’t like almonds or almond butter.
- Chill for a firmer texture. If you prefer a firmer and fudgier brownie texture, you can refrigerate the brownies for a few hours before slicing and serving. This really enhances the fudgy consistency.
Variations and mix-ins
Here are my favorite mix-ins to this chickpea brownie recipe:
- Nutty: Enhance the texture with a handful of chopped nuts like walnuts, pecans, or almonds. They add a delightful crunch and complement the fudgy interior.
- Fruity: Mix in a 1/2 cup of dried fruits such as chopped dried cherries, cranberries, or raisins for bursts of natural sweetness and a contrasting chewiness.
- Coconut: Fold in a 1/2 cup of shredded coconut for the best flavor.
- Peppermint: Add a touch (1/2 teaspoon) of peppermint extract or 1/4 cup of crushed peppermint candy. It’s like Christmas in a brownie!
- Espresso Coffee: Add one teaspoon of instant espresso powder for the perfect chocolate coffee flavor.
- Cinnamon Spiced: Fold in a pinch of cinnamon or a dash of nutmeg for a subtle warmth.
- S’mores: Add vegan marshmallows and crumbled gluten-free graham crackers to evoke the nostalgic flavors of s’mores treat.
- Pumpkin Spice: Try adding 2 teaspoons of pumpkin spice for the best Fall flavor. I love these chickpea pumpkin brownies.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you taste the chickpeas?
NO! I promise you that you cannot taste the chickpeas in these brownies. They add the fudgiest texture.
Can I use a different flour?
I don’t recommend using a different flour other than almond flour for this fudgy healthy brownie recipe. Unlike other flours, almond flour is high in healthy fat, which helps the soft texture of these brownies. Try these strawberry brownies if you are looking for brownies that use all-purpose flour or these oat flour brownies if you want a brownie recipe with oat flour.
Are these chickpea brownies gluten-free?
Yes, these chickpea brownies are naturally gluten-free since we use almond flour.
What’s the best substitute for almond butter?
Cashew butter is a good substitute for almond butter in this recipe since it has a similarly creamy texture and mild flavor. You can also use creamy peanut butter, but it will change the flavor of the brownies.
Are they dairy-free?
Yes, these chickpea brownies are naturally dairy-free since they don’t contain butter.
What is the best substitute for cocoa powder?
Unsweetened cocoa powder is best for baking; however, if needed, you can substitute it with cacao powder, hot chocolate mix, dutch processed cocoa powder, sweetened cocoa powder, or carob powder.
Are these brownies healthy?
Yes, these gluten-free vegan chickpea brownies are healthy. First, we use almond butter rather than butter, which makes them lighter and fudgier. Second, they are made with almond flour, which is healthier and better for you than refined flour. Third, they are made with chickpeas instead of oil. Fourth, they are naturally sweetened with maple syrup. Lastly, they are gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan.
How to store and freeze healthy chickpea brownies:
Storing: For best results, store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 6 days.
Freezing: Place leftovers in a freezer-safe bag or container and store them in the freezer for up to 2- 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy the frozen brownies, you can thaw them in the refrigerator overnight or on the countertop for a few hours. You can also heat them briefly in the microwave for a warm treat.
If you loved this recipe, try these healthy chocolate desserts next!
- Flourless Brownies
- Healthy Peanut Butter and Jelly Cups
- Dairy-Free Chocolate Frosting
- Chocolate Raspberry Tart
- Vegan Molten Lava Cake
- Avocado Banana Brownies
- Vegan Brownie Skillet Recipe
Did you make this recipe?
If you make this recipe, be sure to comment and rate it down below. Also, don’t forget to tag me @healthfulblondie on Instagram and use the hashtag #healthfulblondie so I can see your delicious creation and share it with my followers!
Fudgy Healthy Brownies
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line an 8” x 8” baking tin with parchment paper.
- Drain the chickpeas and rinse them under cold water for at least 30 seconds. Gently pat them dry.
- In a food processor, combine the chickpeas, almond butter, pure maple syrup, vanilla extract, coconut sugar, almond flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
- Process the mixture for about 30 to 50 seconds, or until completely smooth and creamy. Ensure there are no visible chunks of chickpeas.
- Remove the blade from the food processor and gently fold in ½ cup of dairy-free chocolate chips by hand.
- Spread the batter evenly into the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of chocolate chips on top of the batter.
- Bake the brownies in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.
- Once baked, remove the brownies from the oven and allow them to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. This helps them set properly. Once cooled, use the parchment paper overhang to lift the brownies out of the pan. Place them on a cutting board and slice into squares. Enjoy!
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