Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
6 Mar

Crock Pot Pork-Stuffed Peppers

After a busy day, opening your front door and inhaling the savory, warm aroma of dinner cooking is a great feeling. Especially if you can take credit for it, even if you’ve been at work all day. The Crock Pot (which is actually a brand name of what is generically called a slow cooker) is a humble but ingenious kitchen appliance. If you can find the time to fill it with some assortment of meat and vegetables and a little broth or water, the Crock Pot will take it from there. While you head off to work or pull weeds in the yard or just lie on the couch and relax, the Crock Pot slowly works its magic.

Crock Pot recipes shouldn’t be too complicated or they defeat the whole purpose of using a Crock Pot. They should, however, contain a variety of ingredients so you can get all the flavor and nutrients you need out of a one-pot meal. The recipe for Crock Pot Pork-Stuffed Peppers that Katerina Shchyelkunova submitted to the Primal Blueprint Cookbook Challenge easily meets this unofficial Crock Pot criteria. Most importantly, her recipe satisfies a craving for unfussy but extremely satisfying comfort food.


The green peppers will hold their shape while cooking and become individual little serving dishes filled with a mild but flavorful blend of ground pork and vegetables. Grated cauliflower seamlessly blends in and the carrots add a burst of color and a little bit of sweetness. Katerina uses dried tarragon in her recipe, but we tried fresh and loved the subtle anise flavor it added.

If you don’t have these exact ingredients in your kitchen, don’t sweat it. The Crock Pot is very forgiving – yet another one of its attributes that we love. Katerina sometimes uses ground beef or a combination of different ground meats. We can also imagine using diced tomatoes instead of paste and a bold combination of spices for those with a more adventurous palate. Left as is, however, this recipe will greet you at the end of the day with its comforting aroma, and a provide a meal that the whole family will love.


  • 2 pounds ground pork (or a combination of pork and beef)
  • 4 large green peppers
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower
  • 6 ounce can of tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon dry oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dry or fresh tarragon
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Cut the tops of the peppers and clean the seeds out.

Arrange peppers in the Crock-Pot standing up and make sure they fit securely.

Grate onion, carrots, garlic and cauliflower in the food processor. You can also just chop them into small pieces with a knife if you don’t have a food processor.

In a big bowl, combine ground pork, shredded vegetables, seasonings and tomato paste.

Add salt and pepper to taste. Stuff the peppers with the mixture and arrange leftover meat between the peppers. Add half a cup of water, cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

If you don’t have a slow-cooker, the dish can be cooked in the oven, covered, for 1-2 hours.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. These look great! Will have to try them next go round at the grocery store.

    shepherd wrote on March 6th, 2010
    • Do not use green pepper for stuffing. It’s bitter. Use red or pale green stuffing pepper. Pork or veal is better than beef. Mix in a 1/4 cup rice. Delicious. Try it.

      Rose M wrote on July 18th, 2013
      • I don’t think rice is 4 hour body diet friendly.

        Sarah wrote on August 2nd, 2013
      • Cooked or raw rice? Your recipe sounds delicious!!

        Katy wrote on August 13th, 2013
    • I was excited about this but had no crock pot. I had these suckers in the oven for TWO HOURS and the pork still didn’t cook through. So “can be done in the oven in 1-2 hours” is doubtful, be warned.

      Anna R wrote on August 9th, 2014
      • I had the same problem when I cooked the stuffed peppers in the oven. So now what I do, is I bake the first 45 – 60 minutes at 375 degrees and then dial down the temp to 350 for 1 hour. It works all the time.

        Christine wrote on June 3rd, 2015
      • Cook the pork/ground beef before stuffing in pepper, cover with foil, then put in oven until bell pepper is done. I forgot to add water once and they were the best ever!

        Monica wrote on September 6th, 2015
  2. Anybody know what size slow cooker they used for this?

    Steve Scarfia wrote on March 6th, 2010
    • looks like a 1.5 quart

      Pat wrote on March 6th, 2010
    • It’s at least a 5 quart crock pot. 1.5 is way to small, that’s more for dips. I’ve made these before using my 7 quart and they are great

      Lisa wrote on April 5th, 2012
    • From the markings on the side I would say a 7.25 Qt.

      Jimmy Pritchett wrote on September 3rd, 2012
      • oops my mistake 7.25 cups.

        Jimmy Pritchett wrote on September 3rd, 2012
    • It looks like a small crockpot to me.

      Libby wrote on February 1st, 2013
    • I just used the most sought out cooker, about 2 qts. Looks tight. But, I made four of them fit perfectly using the recipe as is. laced the bottom with the extra mixture stuffed the peppers and placed them in the cooker and the rest of the mixture went in last around the side. We just loved em. I put them on high for three hours on high setting. Then, just swishing the sides with the jucies after I saw the moisture building up around the edges. And, I used 1/2 ground pork and 1/2 ground venison. My fiance said they were Awesome. And, to make them again. And as long as I don’t tell her what I use, she’s fine with it she says. And so far she has turned from beef to venison.

      Dougie wrote on July 25th, 2013
  3. These look fantastic! I will have to make these this week!

    Athena wrote on March 6th, 2010
  4. I will be making these next week. They look fabulous!

    Todd wrote on March 6th, 2010
    • live your life acn… I mean, todd-free. how is this not spam?

      uhreally? wrote on March 6th, 2010
      • Explain to me, in detail how it is spam. Have you read my other comments? What else am I suppose to say to a recipe article?

        Mark publishes a new recipe every Saturday and if it looks good (always does) then I am more than welcome to write a short comment.

        For the cocoa and coconut snacks, I said I was going to try them and I did. I then added another reply with my own recipe – the nuts and seeds I used.

        Many people have links going back to there blogs. It seems as if you are pissed off or something because you don’t have one.

        What else am I suppose to say about a recipe that I have no tried yet? And please explain how I am spamming.

        Thank you.

        Todd wrote on March 6th, 2010
        • “Many people have links going back to there blogs. It seems as if you are pissed off or something because you don’t have one.”

          I think the intent was directed because of the lack of understanding of 5th grade English. “Many people have links going back to there blogs.” There is an point on the ground, their indicates possession of a blog.

          Jimbo wrote on January 7th, 2012
  5. These look really good. Hubby made a version of these to roast on the grill last week, but I think these would be even easier.

    Jenna wrote on March 6th, 2010
  6. I think I’m gonna use fresh parmesan instead of cauliflower. Looks really good and a great meal for the kids this week.

    Sterling wrote on March 6th, 2010
  7. Just bought four peppers–a green, a red, a yellow, and an orange. I might have to try these!

    I wonder what cut of pork is used.

    Kent Hawley wrote on March 6th, 2010
  8. I’m going to try them using ground venison/pork I have from this past hunting season!!

    cradisprimal wrote on March 6th, 2010
  9. Any ideas for other veggies that are “stuffable” instead of the green peppers. I don’t like peppers, but it seems like the filling should be held by something?

    Nancy wrote on March 6th, 2010
    • They don’t “have to” be stuffed. You could just drop the pork into the slow cooker with WHATEVER you like – cutup pieces of squash or any veggie, slices of onion, etc. It’s really hard to not “do it right” with a crockpot. Slow cooking almost ensures that everything is nice and juicy and flavorful.

      I’m sure that the recipe as written tastes pretty darn good but when I use pork I’d rather brown it first, before tossing it into a slow cooker.

      Jeff wrote on March 6th, 2010
      • I agree… at least partially brown it so that you can drain the fat out.

        Carla wrote on August 5th, 2012
    • You can use squash halves.

      cindy wrote on July 27th, 2010
    • Tomatoes are easily stuffable!

      T Byrd wrote on August 27th, 2011
    • Try Acorn Squash instead of peppers!! YUM!!

      Ricki wrote on April 30th, 2013
    • Tomatoes or a huge zucchini works great.

      Mariya wrote on April 30th, 2013
  10. They look yum, may have to try these!

    Chris wrote on March 6th, 2010
  11. This is almost a classic Austrian dish. We serve the peppers in a tomato sauce.:)

    maranne wrote on March 7th, 2010
    • Yes, I was going to say that this is quite similar to a classic Serbian dish, also served in tomato sauce! Probably borrowed from the Austrians via the Hungarians :-)

      unchatenfrance wrote on March 7th, 2010
    • Also a Romanian dish, although made with rice instead of califlower. I’m sure califlower it’s a great alternative in this recipe.

      Dania wrote on March 10th, 2010
    • A lot like a Hungarian dish, too. Common in that part of Europe, I guess.

      Aunt Erin wrote on January 14th, 2012
  12. I just got ground pork in my pastured meat CSA share yesterday. What perfect timing to try this recipe. Thank you!

    Pam wrote on March 7th, 2010
    • There are pastured meat CSA’s?! I love you for mentioning that! I’m googling my area for this.

      Stephanie wrote on July 5th, 2014
  13. I am considering buying a slow cooker but i’m a bit worried about its effect on nutrients. Taken from wikipedia:

    Vitamins and other trace nutrients are lost, particularly from vegetables, partially by enzyme action during cooking. When vegetables are cooked at higher temperatures these enzymes are rapidly denatured and have less time in which to act during cooking. Since slow cookers work at temperatures well below boiling point and do not rapidly denature enzymes, vegetables tend to lose trace nutrients. Blanched vegetables, having been exposed to very hot water, have already had these enzymes rendered largely ineffective, so a blanching or sauteing pre-cook stage will leave more vitamins intact[7]. Green colors are retained better when vegetables are cooked quickly as plant cells are less likely to lose acids.

    Any comments?

    Steven wrote on March 7th, 2010
    • I checked out the article, and the only citation mentioned does not address the slow cooker at all, but recommends blanching vegetables before freezing them.

      I did find this:

      which claims that most enzymes are most efficient at 45C (113F), and work more slowly as the temperature increases. Also, this company lists their enzyme based product as not to be stored or applied above 45C:

      Given this temperature range, I don’t think you have anything to worry about.

      Kelly wrote on March 7th, 2010
    • As long as you eat plenty of vegetables and don’t slow cook every single meal, I think this is a pretty middling concern. Personally, I get pretty much any vegetable that ends up in my slow cooker in raw form during my lunch salad.

      When you get to the point of fearing slow cooked vegetables and looking at them as a cheat meal, IMO you’re overthinking diet a bit.

      Adam Smith wrote on March 7th, 2010
  14. Excellent! Thanks for this.

    Organic Gabe wrote on March 7th, 2010
  15. This looks amazing! I have some organic ground beef that would be perfect for this!

    pat wrote on March 7th, 2010
  16. Yum! They look delicious; I’ll have to make them soon! Thanks for the recipe!

    CaveCravings wrote on March 8th, 2010
  17. I’m so glad my recipe got featured on the web-site. Thank you, Mark
    Yes, where I was growing up, we were also serving this dish with lots of tomato sauce. We would also break the stuffed pepper in half once it’s cooked and put lots of thick and creamy sour cream on it.
    Traditionally, the peppers are stuffed with ground meat mixed with rice, but I discovered grated cauliflower makes quite a nice substitute for rice and breaks up the texture of ground meat nicely.

    chocolatechip69 wrote on March 8th, 2010
  18. Got this cooking right now, using ground beef instead of pork. In addition to the tomato paste I have put on some tomato sauce and other spices. House smells wonderful.

    Matt wrote on March 8th, 2010
  19. I made this recipe last night and have a few comments. First of all, I put in 3/4 cup of water rather than the recommended 1/2. I cooked it for 10 hours on low but I think that was too much because the peppers were pretty non-existent, although they still held the meat. Perhaps this was due to the excess water? Either way, I would do it for 8 hours next time and add the recommended amount of water.

    I used ground heart for a 1/2 pound of the meat because I like to eat organs when I can. If you want to eat heart have the butcher grind it for you and add it in to other ground meat recipes. Doesn’t effect the taste enough to really notice.

    Tomato sauce to top it off with at the end would be a good choice. I would have made the sauce separately instead of cooking it with the meal. The meal tastes great, just could have used a sauce.

    Matt wrote on March 9th, 2010
  20. should the meat be pre- cooked in a pan- browned slightly instead of raw in the peppers???

    pjnoir wrote on March 9th, 2010
    • I didn’t pre-cook mine and they turned out fine.

      Matt wrote on March 10th, 2010
  21. Technically, no, because the peppers will cook through in the slowcooker if you cook them for 4-5 hrs. You certainly can pre-cook the meat before stuffing it into the peppers if it makes you more comfortable. The consistancy of the cooked product would be different though.

    chocolatechip69 wrote on March 9th, 2010
  22. I ordered a crock pot just to make this! Does anyone have links to other great primal crock pot dishes?

    Tashy wrote on March 10th, 2010
    • Most crock pot recipes are primal as long as they don’t have pasta as an ingredient.

      Matt wrote on March 10th, 2010
  23. I’m going to try this, but with with a Chinese accent — red or yellow bell peppers, ground pork, and some combo of garlic/ginger/onion/Chinese cabbage/Shoxiang wine/tamari/whatever else I’ve got handy.

    John R wrote on March 10th, 2010
  24. Made this dish for Monday. Got rave reviews. Delish!

    Pamela wrote on March 10th, 2010
  25. I just made these last night with a couple changes 1)Grass fed beef instead of pork, 2) Cooked in oven instead of crock pot.

    Here’s what I did if anyone else out there doesn’t have a large enough crock pot:

    Preheat the oven to 350.

    After slicing off the top of peppers and de-seeding, put them in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let simmer for 5 min.

    Using 2tbsp butter, saute diced tops of bell peppers along with the onions and garlic for 5 minutes in a large skillet.

    Add tomatoes (I used these instead of tomato sauce so skip this step if you are using sauce) and saute for another 5 min.

    Add carrots and cauliflower and saute until all veggies are nice and soft (about 10 minutes).

    Dump into a large bowl and mix in the oregano and tarragon. Mix in the meat (I ended up using about 2 1/4 lbs meat since it seemed like too much veggie for only 2 lbs. It turned out to be enough mix that I could have made 6 peppers).

    Stuff the peppers with meat and veggie mix.

    Cook for 65 minutes.

    (I didn’t have a covered dish either so I put a layer of foil on a baking tray and wrapped another piece of foil loosely over the top of the stuffed peppers. I also put a 1/4 cup water on the bottom of the tray.)

    psyte wrote on March 11th, 2010
  26. Yum! I made this yesterday with the following changes (because it was what I had on hand):

    Used red bells and pasillas instead of green bells.

    Used 2/3 ground beef and 1/3 hot Italian sausage instead of ground pork.

    Excellent served with cottage cheese. Equally good reheated and topped with a fried egg for breakfast.

    BarbeyGirl wrote on March 14th, 2010
  27. I have this cooking right now, and my taste tests so far are very positive! I used local grass-fed beef and pork from a farmer friend. I think I will make a quick tomato sauce to spoon over, based on everyone’s comments here. I am particularly tickled that there is no way my cauliflower-hating husband will ever suspect the 1/2 head of cauliflower in there! I finely chopped it very finely in the food processor. He’ll never know!

    Kelly wrote on April 12th, 2010
  28. I finally made this. Some comments…

    – Made it with ground lamb. Delicious.

    -Definitely needs salt. Were I to make it again, I’d add 1 teaspoon to the mixture before baking.

    -I put the Crockpot on high for six hours instead. Worked just fine.

    -The recipe is MORE than enough for the four bell peppers. Yes, you can turn the excess into meatballs, but these easily crumble inside the Crockpot. (Or was that the lamb?) Doing this again, I’d add an egg into the mixture to hold the meatballs together.

    Thanks for sharing this one!

    MNL wrote on April 27th, 2010
    • Thank you…I was thinking to myself that those peppers must have been enormous to hold 2 lbs of meat plus everything else in the mixture.

      becky wrote on January 26th, 2013
  29. I am making these for dinner tonight. Here’s what I did:

    –Made it with ground grassfed pork and beef, 1lb each
    –Created my own seasoning blend: sea salt, telicherry pepper, coriander seed, paprika, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, onion, and a hint of ground cloves
    –added cubed feta
    –used red peppers
    –added crushed tomatoes instead of paste
    –added brocolli slaw finely chopped in place of carrots (didn’t have carrots)

    I cooked my meat first and then added the seasonings and sauteed veg’s and feta. After I stuffed the peppers I had loads of filling left so I spread some around the bottom of the dish and I still had some left.

    So for lunch, I made scrambled eggs cooked in coconut oil with some of the filling and it was AMAZING. Fed it to my friend’s 17 year old daughter and she loved it too. Let’s hope the peppers turn out equally good for dinner.

    p.s. If you chop the cauliflower really fine and saute it a bit before adding it to the meat you really can’t tell it’s there. It fooled the teenager and I’m hoping it will fool my husband too. He “hates” cauliflower.

    Evangeline wrote on May 25th, 2010
  30. Not a good recipe at all! Very bland and the peppers fell apart when trying to take them out. Will not be making again.

    niel wrote on June 8th, 2010
  31. I agree with Niel. This is the first primal recipe I didn’t like. My best friend didn’t like it either and that says a lot because she always likes everything I cook. Never again. Yuck.

    Chase wrote on June 12th, 2010
  32. Since I don’t have a slow cooker, I’ll just make these in the oven. Works great since my mom just got a whole lot of lean ground beef 😀

    Bill Pairaktaridis wrote on July 20th, 2010
  33. this was super bland and the consistency was awful. I would not recommend it without some major changes.

    Jen wrote on July 26th, 2010
  34. Jen, did you add salt and pepper to taste?

    Jeff wrote on November 13th, 2010
  35. No good. My husband usually likes anything and everything, but he hated these. He said it was really watery and the pepper turned out gross. I think adding some tomato sauce around the peppers instead of water would have made a huge difference. If I make these again I’ll also try baking them in the oven instead. Sorry, but there are yummier paleo stuffed pepper recipes out there.

    Kelly wrote on January 19th, 2011
  36. Ex-Pat in Asia..
    I used a bamboo Streamer and Stuffed Peppers came out fantastic in 40-50 mins..

    Denns wrote on April 14th, 2011

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