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Chocolate Workout Brownies

These secretly-good-for-you chocolate workout brownies are high in protein, gluten-free, oil-free, vegan, and they can even have NO added sugar.

workout brownies

If you are one of those people who love healthy desserts and how amazing they make you feel, be sure to put these brownies on your “must try” list.

Also Try These: Keto Muffins – Just 6 Ingredients

Made up of just six plant-based ingredients, without any refined sugars or flour, the clean eating protein brownies are super quick and easy to prepare.

If you’re bored of energy bars, this could be your new favorite workout recipe.

They are great for:



Weight Lifters




Sports Players

And basically everyone else who loves chocolate and wants to incorporate it into a healthy, on-the-go snack.

fitness brownies

Brownies with superpowers.

It’s like grabbing a post-workout energy bar, but with cleaner ingredients than most packaged energy bars – no soy protein isolate, sucralose, or high fructose corn syrup.

I know it’s completely frustrating when a healthy-tasting recipe claims to taste exactly like a real hot fudge brownie… so I will tell you right now:

These are not supposed to be like a decadent dessert. Just as you wouldn’t serve a tray of Luna Bars at a fancy dinner party or bake sale, I wouldn’t recommend the workout brownies for a party either.

They are definitely more of a healthy snack or dessert meant for people who enjoy the wholesome taste and nutrition of healthy desserts.

If you are one of those people, hopefully you will love this recipe as much as I do!

Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

protein brownies

If you want a good protein powder recommendation to use in the recipe, I really like the plant-based protein by ALOHA.

All of their products are organic and free of soy, gluten, dairy, and artificial ingredients, and they use a combination of pumpkin seed, hemp seed, and pea protein, with 18g protein per serving. I was also happy to see the protein powder doesn’t contain stevia, so you don’t get that weird aftertaste many other chocolate protein powders seem to have.

**Note: The link to their website is not an affiliate code. I don’t make any commission on sales of their products. I love both the taste and the company’s philosophy, and this was the brand of protein powder I used for the workout brownies.

So if you want to make the recipe exactly like I did, I know using ALOHA protein powder yields good results.

(Watch The Video Above)

Frosting Ideas:

Chocolate Frosting Shots

Healthy Nutella

Healthy Chocolate Frosting

Or, if you want to keep these brownies super healthy like I did, you can make your own chocolate “frosting” by simply combining cocoa powder with an avocado and a little sweetener of choice – here’s how to make avocado chocolate frosting.

Secretly Healthy Chocolate Workout Brownies

You can also top them with Coconut Ice Cream and fresh berries, for a healthy post-workout fudge brownie sundae!

Adapted from my Almond Butter Brownies

Pin it now to save for laterPin Recipe

Chocolate Workout Brownies

These secretly-good-for-you chocolate workout brownies are high in protein, oil-free, and vegan!
5/5 (22)
Total Time 20 minutes
Yield 9 - 12 brownies


  • 1 cup overripe mashed banana or applesauce
  • 2/3 cup nut butter of choice, or allergy-friendly sub
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp chocolate protein powder or additional cocoa – I used ALOHA Chocolate Protein Powder
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, honey, or agave, OR additional banana
  • optional mini chocolate chips, crushed walnuts, etc.


  • Notes: If using applesauce or unsweetened protein powder, or if planning to eat the brownies unfrosted, I recommend including the sweetener of choice. Using peanut butter gives a peanut-butter flavor, while almond or cashew butter taste more neutral. Sunbutter or pumpkin seed butter can be used for allergy-friendly brownies. You can use regular unsweetened cocoa or a combination of regular and dutch.
    Preheat oven to 325 F. Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper. If using natural nut butter, gently warm it until it is easily stir-able. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, stir until completely smooth, and spread into the prepared pan (see video). Bake on the center rack 20-25 minutes (20 for super fudgy brownies) – they will be undercooked when you take them out. Let cool, then loosely cover with a paper towel and place in the fridge overnight, during which time they will firm up without losing their fudginess. They are also much sweeter the next day! Frosting options are listed earlier in this post, and you need about 1/2 cup total. Once cut, the brownies can either be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days or in the freezer for up to a month. You can even eat them straight out of the freezer if you wish! As mentioned, they are more of a healthy snack than a decadent dessert - if you enjoy healthy desserts and snacks, hopefully you will love these!
    View Nutrition Facts

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5/5 (22)

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Published on June 8, 2017

Meet Katie

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ABC's 5 O’Clock News. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating dessert every single day!

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  1. Lindsey O. says

    I got to the end of this recipe and only then did I see “refrigerate overnight – they are much sweeter the next day!” I saw this as I was about to put the brownies into the oven, and am making them to eat tonight, not tomorrow. Please put warnings on your recipes at the top saying these need to be prepared the day before. I love your website and have been following you for years but that was disappointing – hopefully they are still Ok tonight! Thank you for all the amazing vegan recipes! 🙂

  2. Terry says

    I made these today. Excellent! I, too, am the person that would eat a Luna bar etc for dessert. I normally always follow a recipe to the tee the first time, then experiment. I love reading comments before making some things for the tips. We are between homes right now so I don’t have all my stuff. No brownie 8×8 type pan, so made cupcakes. Baked for 20 min. Perfect!! I used bananas, almond butter, raw cacao powder. I didn’t have any protein powder so used a little more raw cacao powder. I did add walnuts. They have not made it to the fridge yet and we’re already into them . This recipe made a dozen cupcake brownies.

  3. Kat says

    I made these for a couple of vegan friends yesterday,one of whom eats no sugar. I used the chocolate frosting shots recipe for frosting. I absolutely loved them and the frosting worked brilliantly, and my friends loved them too. I used banana for sweetener in the brownies but ended up adding a little Stevia to sweeten it further. I’m vegetarian and always willing to try out a vegan recipe, and although my husband prefers the sugary egg-filled brownies with a honey-based frosting that I usually make him, he said he liked these a lot too 🙂

  4. Diane says

    I’ve made these probably ten times now. They are ALWAYS in my refrigerator!! They are amazingly delicious and super easy to make!!!

  5. Rita Zubo says

    I made them yesterday.As cupcakes They taste really good but a little dry.

    Diy I bake them too long?

    • Jason Sanford says

      Unfortunately we’ve never baked them as cupcakes so really don’t know how they’d turn out. It sounds like a fun experiment, but there’s just no way to know how long they’d take or how they’d taste if we haven’t tried it. Maybe we should ;). Good excuse to eat more chocolate!

  6. Bry Marie says

    Hi Katie, unlike most people here my brownies tasted like dog food and chocolate mixed together. To make sure I didn’t do anything wrong, I retried the recipe, and it came out the same. I would give it 0 out of 5 stars. Sorry but it just wasn’t good,

    • Jason Sanford says

      Not all recipes are for everyone. That’s okay. But just to check because so many others did like the recipe, what nut butter and sweetener did you use? And what protein powder?

  7. Pamela B Adams says

    These did NOT disappoint! I have been let down by “healthy, no sugar, tastes like the real thing” snacks before but this was not one of those times!! These are delicious-raw and cooked. I really could just eat the batter and never even put these things in the oven.

  8. Jules says

    These were so ridiculously good! Notice I said were because in 24 hours there aren’t any left.. my fam devoured them. I used my regular protein powder (ProMix Chocolate) with them and cashew butter (that’s what I had on hand) and they were so yummy. I also used the Reeses Pieces frosting recipe on top and oh my goodness.. Will be making these waaaay more often. Thanks so much for sharing these Katie!

  9. Carley says

    Absolutely disgusting.
    Made this tonight and about choked on the damn thing. I feel like I should be reimbursed 4.00 for the wasted protein. I do not recommend this recipe.

    • Jason Sanford says

      Well to be fair, the recipe does say it’s not for everyone. I personally love them, and reading the comments I can see there are a lot of others who do as well. So it’s just a matter of different tastes, which is completely okay!

  10. Cath says

    Yum! These are so easy to make and so delicious!
    I sprinkled frozen raspberries over mine before baking.
    The tartness goes beautifully with the sweet of the maple syrup and the bitter chocolate.

  11. Cath says

    Posting again because I’’ve added frosting and taken photos. YUM! For the brownies I used mashed banana, raw cacao, maple syrup and almond butter. I used a TBS of pea protein powder and extra cacao powder as I was worried the protein powder would hurt the flavour.
    I got oerfect results! So incredibly yummy! I also sprinkled frozen raspberries all over before baking.

    Then I frosted with chocolate frosting shot frosting (without any sweetener) and finished with a sprinkling of cacao nibs for added crunch. This is so good. I’ll definitelh be making them again. I noticed a few people have posted that they didn’t get good results. I think with this sort of food, quality of ingredients is everything. It’s possibly a taste thing too, but I think the quality of the ingredients would definitely change your results.

    I posted a photo of the brownie before it was frosted and cut so you can see the yummy raspberries. It looks like a child got to it with a spoon because my 4 year old, while I was settling my baby!). The second photo is the finished product.

  12. Rennae says

    I made these with banana and cashew butter and agave as seeetener. And I only had cacao powder but still came out great!! Next time I think I’ll try applesauce and peanutbutter or almond butter and maple syrup as sweetener. Ive recently started strength training and need more vegan high-er protein snacks, so thank you for this 🙂

    • Jason Sanford says

      I did it after and it worked well because the frosting hardened immediately. But if you do it before, the frosting will melt into the brownies, which also sounds delicious.

  13. Faith says

    Absolutely love these! I’ve made them twice so far- the first time with no added sugar except for dark chocolate chips, and the second time with chopped walnuts and 1/4tsp agave. Both turned out perfectly! I don’t really like “sweet” desserts or foods so they were the perfect fudgy, chocolatey goodness that I was looking for. Didn’t have protein powder so I used 3tbs extra cocoa. Going to have to try them with the avocado frosting, looks delicious!

    • Faith says

      To add on: the first time I used all banana and the second time I used half banana and half unsweetened applesauce to cut down on the calories a little bit, couldn’t tell a difference- both were great. Thanks for the quick & simple recipe Katie!

  14. Lerlene says

    I love this recipe and everytime I have a martial arts competition, I bring these brownies and they are wonderful snack in between fighting and kata.

  15. ollie says

    Im really surprised at how great these came out! You’d think without flour of some sort they would be kind of weird but NO. They were honestly a better consistency than regular brownies! I added a little vanilla extract and some espresso powder and they were freaking amazing. Thank you soooooo much!

  16. Asia says

    Hi Katie – these look delicious!
    Can I use vanilla protein powder and axe out vanilla extract?

    Stay safe with this Coronavirus ❤️ Thanks!

  17. Katelyn Kelly says

    I made these with:
    Cocoa powder
    Garden of life protein powder
    Vanilla extract
    Agave for sweetener
    Using the measurements provided they came out super fudgey and wouldn’t hold their shape even after being in the fridge for about 24 hours. Basically like raw brownie batter. Did I do something wrong?

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