These healthy protein brownies are rich, fudgy and come together quickly in one bowl! They’re flourless, naturally sweetened and have 7 grams of protein per brownie. Gluten-free + dairy-free.
Healthy protein brownies?! Say no more, I’m sold.
Well really, you had me at just “brownie” but protein is a nice bonus! These brownies are super easy to make and packed with healthy ingredients you can actually feel good about! I won’t tell if you sneak one of these brownies for breakfast…
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
This recipe can be made in one bowl and one pan! Yay for minimal clean-up.
These brownies don’t have any flour, so they’re gluten-free + grain-free.
The added protein helps to curb the blood sugar spike you typically get when eating sweets like brownies.
Sure, these brownies are loaded with healthy ingredients but no one will even know! They are still so rich and fudgy.
Why is Protein Important?
Huge question here! If you’re wondering why I care about protein or why I’m sharing a recipe for brownies with protein, here’s your answer! Protein is one of the three macronutrients that are necessary for our body’s functions (along with fat and carbohydrates). If you think protein is only necessary for professional athletes or bodybuilders, think again!
Protein is quite the powerhouse. It helps build your bones, muscles, tissues and organs and also keeps those things functioning properly. On a less science-y note, protein helps you feel full and satisfied, helps with cravings and helps maintain your weight.
I love adding protein to meals and snacks that would otherwise leave me feeling unsatisfied and hungry a couple of hours later… things that are typically carb-heavy like brownies, pancakes, cookies and oatmeal.
almond butter – check the ingredient label to make sure the only ingredient is almonds (or almonds and salt). I used Wild Friends almond butter, but I also like the natural store brands from Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. Feel free to swap the almond butter for any nut butter or seed butter. Just make sure you’re using drippy nut butter!
eggs – I have not tried swapping the eggs for flax eggs, but I bet it would work. The brownies just might not rise as much. Let me know if you try a vegan version in the comments below.
pure maple syrup – one of my favorite natural sweeteners. Just be sure to use pure maple syrup, not the artificial kind labeled “pancake syrup” and made from corn syrup… NOT the same!
unsweetened almond milk – I used unsweetened almond milk, but any non-dairy milk will work.
vanilla extract – a flavor enhancer.
chocolate protein powder – any chocolate protein powder works. Nuzest is one of my favorite brands. It’s plant-based and has a minimal, clean ingredient list. Plus, the chocolate flavor is delish. You can use my code eatingbirdfood for 15% off your order.
cocoa powder – add that delicious chocolatey goodness with cocoa powder! Make sure you’re using unsweetened cocoa powder. Cacao powder works as well.
sea salt – if the almond butter has salt in it, you can skip this!
Making protein brownies is really similar to making regular brownies and incredibly easy.
In a large mixing bowl, start by whisking together the wet ingredients – almond butter, eggs, maple syrup, almond milk and vanilla extract. Add in the dry ingredients – the protein powder, cocoa powder, sea salt and baking powder and mix until combined. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
Grease an 8×8 inch baking pan or line with parchment paper. Pour the brownie mixture into the pan and top with additional chocolate chips. Bake at 350ºF for 25-30 minutes. You’ll know the brownies are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Let the brownies cool completely before cutting and serving. Trust me… they taste better cool! I actually burnt my mouth trying to get an early taste.
Are protein brownies healthy?
Yes! These brownies are made with minimal, good-for-you ingredients and have no refined sugar or artificial preservatives. With 7 grams of protein each, they can help balance your blood sugar and leave you feeling satisfied instead of hungry for more.
How often can I eat protein brownies?
These protein brownies are healthy enough to eat every day! Of course, I recommend switching up your snacks and treats to add a variety of nutrients into your diet, but I don’t see any issue eating a protein brownie once a day.
Can you bake with protein powder?
Definitely! Adding protein powder to your baked goods is a great way to make certain baked goods more filling and add more protein to your diet. I bake with protein powder all the time and have so many protein recipes here on EBF.
Can you put protein powder in brownies?
Yup!! I used my favorite Nuzest protein powder. I love their protein because there is no chalky taste and the ingredient list is minimal. You really can’t taste the protein powder in these brownies at all!
How much protein do these brownies have?
This recipe makes 16 brownies and each brownie has 7 grams of protein each. This will likely vary depending on the protein powder you use.
Can I make these brownies vegan?
I have not tested these brownies with an egg substitute, but I bet replacing the eggs with flax eggs or chia eggs would work just fine. If you decide to experiment let me know in the comments below!
Why did my brownies turn out dry?
There are a few reasons why your brownies might have turned out dry. First, they could have baked too long. Check them at the 25 minute mark with a toothpick to see if it comes out clean. If not, let them bake for a few more minutes. The other reason why your brownies might be dry is because of the nut butter or protein powder you used. Some protein powders do soak up more liquid, which could cause them to dry out faster. Also, you want to make sure you’re using drippy nut butter, not dry hard nut butter. If you notice your batter is on the drier side, add a splash more milk!
How to Serve Protein Brownies
I love eating these brownies plain straight from the fridge, but if you want to get fancy here are some topping ideas:
Nut butter – you can’t go wrong with a drizzle of nut butter to top these brownies! I recommend almond butter.
Coconut whip – these brownies would be delicious with a dollop of coconut whip cream on top!
Caramel sauce – I’m drooling just thinking about how delicious my date caramel sauce would be drizzled over one of these protein brownies.
Yogurt – want to eat a brownie for breakfast? Crumble it on top of some Greek yogurt (or any yogurt of choice) with some granola (this hemp granola is delicious) and fresh berries. Like a breakfast brownie sundae… so yummy!
Fruit – serve these brownies with some fresh berries. They add pop of color and such good flavor!
How to Store Leftovers
These brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. For longer storage, I recommend freezing. Store in a freezer-safe, airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
¼teaspoonsea salt, skip if almond butter is salted
½cupchocolate chips, plus more for topping
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8×8-inch baking pan or line with parchment.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together almond butter, eggs, maple syrup, almond milk and vanilla extract.
Add protein powder, cocoa powder, sea salt and baking powder into the mixing bowl and stir until combined. If you notice your batter is on the drier side (which could happen depending on what almond butter or protein powder you use), add a splash more milk!
Gently fold in chocolate chips.
Transfer mixture to the prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until brownies are set in the center and a toothpick comes out clean. Let brownies cool completely (trust me, they test better cool, plus you won’t burn your mouth). Cut into squares and enjoy!