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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. I made these and mine also turned out really bland and quite watery. The peppers were practically mush and fell apart as soon as I took them out. The meat definitely needs more seasoning and I agree with others who said the recipe could use a sauce to go with it.

    Alize wrote on November 28th, 2011
  2. can you use any other veggies with this and what would be good we dont like carrots and cauliflower

    Gina wrote on December 4th, 2011
  3. Reality check on this recipe:

    2 lbs of meat is WAY too much. Do the math: that’s a half pound of meat per bell peppers and you haven’t even factored in the onion, carrot or half a head of cauliflower.

    I followed the recipe to a “T” and here is the deal. It’s bland and boring. Thank whoever it’s healthy, but it’s about as exciting as a bowl of almond flour and water. I actually thought I was coming down with something and my taste buds were being dulled out, but everyone else agreed…it’s bland.

    It definitely needs salt or some type of spicy seasoning to wake it up. Adding the water: unnecessary. The peppers were practically floating in a pool of liquid when they were done.

    To make this palatable: add salt and whatever other spices you can think of. You know it’s a bad sign when 8 hours into a slow cook and your kitchen smells like…a kitchen with nothing cooking in it.

    Keepin’ it real.

    The Food Police wrote on December 7th, 2011
  4. Just put these in my crockpot! I’m having a dinner party tonight. I used ground turkey instead of pork. Also diced up some green pepper left over from breakfast omlettes and mixed with meat mixture! I’ll let you know how they turn out. Thanks for sharing!

    Aunt Erin wrote on January 14th, 2012
  5. I just tried this recipe. I made a few substitutions. Since I tend to prefer beef, I used USDA certified organic ground beef instead of pork. The tablespoons of herbs were heaping tablespoons. I put a teaspoon of black pepper, and a heaping teaspoon of sea salt (the good, dirty looking stuff).

    First off, the heaping teaspoon of salt was insufficient. I’ll try two next time. The other stuff seemed like enough, though I may try to throw in some spices other than black pepper. Maybe even chop a few jalapenos into it.

    I also used six peppers, instead of four, as the recipe looked like it could accommodate more… and indeed, it did.

    As other users commented, the peppers on the bottom layer (four fit in my slow cooker, so two were stacked on top) fell apart to the touch. The top two did not… because unlike the bottom ones, they were properly slow cooked, rather than being boiled in the copious quantities of juices this recipe produces.

    The problem is the onions. Any time onions are slow cooked, the water in them comes out. A chili recipe I used to cook (in my pre-primal days) had no liquids of any kind in it, but lots of onions, and produced a very watery chili.

    I do like the idea of a stuffed pepper with lots of vegetables instead of the usual rice, and the filling was good. I put some of it on the indoor grill for breakfast (right after closing the slow cooker), and it was delicious. But in the future, I’ll likely pre-cook the meat and the onions together (which is more traditional method for stuffed peppers) and drain the juices, to get a dryer cooking process in the slow cooker. Also, two teaspoons of salt this time, instead of one. Maybe throw in diced tomatoes in addition to the paste, and some chili powder and cumin would be good, too.

    DASawyer wrote on January 25th, 2012
  6. These do look good, but they are in no means healthy, i just typed this into a recipe calculator…over 800 calories per stuffed pepper! Gross! Not eating these…..

    Sarah wrote on March 25th, 2012
  7. I made these last night and they did not turn out. Like others said, very bland and the bell peppers went to mush. My crockpot also cooks really hot and they were over cooked after just 4 hrs on low.

    Ashley wrote on April 9th, 2012
  8. Found your recipe on Pinterest. I have never eaten or made stuffed peppers before, but wanted to try something different. My picky husband really enjoyed the recipe and I did too. Next time we will substitute rice for the cauliflower. Thanks!

    Jen Mac wrote on April 28th, 2012
    • Wanted to add – I cooked them in the oven. 1 1/2 hours at 325F (our oven runs warm).

      Jen Mac wrote on April 28th, 2012
  9. Not good. Cooked them for 8 hrs and peppers were just sitting in the grease from the meat. Yikes. Don’t recommend this one.

    connie wrote on June 14th, 2012
  10. Yuk…I chopped with the food processor as you suggested. I felt like I was eating mush. I also added chopped mushrooms and half a chopped tomato. That was a lot of wet vegetables, so I didn’t add water. I didn’t get the crock pot going until noon and it was a watery mess by six.

    I used organic ground pork I had bought at the farmers market. It wasn’t greasy on my hands when mixing it in, but way too much when cooked in this recipe.

    I’m removing it from my pinterest

    Marilee wrote on June 18th, 2012
  11. Just trying these now. I used half grass-fed ground beef and half sweet Italian sausage. (Still working our way up to all-clean meats in the budget, so we tend to “cut” them with “regular” meats, though we go for the best of those that we can find.)

    I didn’t like the thought of just throwing the leftover meat mixture in the crock, and I happened to have some small sweet peppers, so I put part of it into those. (It also helps to keep the larger peppers standing up properly.) Then I added some homemade stock instead of water.

    There was still plenty of meat left over, so I chopped up a few of the smaller peppers and made four “meat loaf” muffins to freeze and have later as a quick snack.

    Smells yummy so far!

    JoAnne wrote on June 18th, 2012
  12. You can see the little baby peppers here

    JoAnne wrote on June 18th, 2012
  13. I love stuffed peppers and am very excited to try this! I didn’t know you could make them in the slow cooker- that’s even better. I make them with ground turkey, brown rice, black beans, and add a little tomato sauce and parmesan cheese. Can’t wait to try this healthy recipe!

    Kristin wrote on June 26th, 2012
  14. Smelled fantastic but it did not taste anything like it smelled. Very bland and tasted like nothing. The 1/2c water was entirely too much. I ended up pouring out 2 cups of liquid after pulling the peppers and meat out. I followed the recipe exactly.

    Stacy wrote on July 8th, 2012
  15. Going to try this tonight, but since i don’t have all the ingredients i’ll have to substitute. I’m thinking zucchini, broccoli, italian sausage/ground beef. Also thinking of adding a can of diced tomatoes/spices in bottom of pot instead of water 😀 should create a great sauce if i do it right.

    amanda wrote on July 9th, 2012
  16. Try this for a little extra ooomph:

    Mix some brown sugar with catsup and pour it over the top of the peppers before cooking.

    OMG good!

    Carla wrote on August 5th, 2012
  17. This looks yum, although I’m not a fan of peppers, I’m going to give it a go!!

    Helen wrote on August 14th, 2012
  18. I was so excited about this recipe. “Sneaking” vegetables in and having dinner ready when I got home were very appealing. Well, I got home a bit ago. The house smells wonderful, but dinner is inedible. The stuffing is so bland and mushy that no one wants to eat it. Maybe a really flavorful sauce would help it, but a better recipe is probably the key.

    sarah wrote on August 27th, 2012
  19. I don’t have 10 hrs. How long if I cook on high?

    Andrea wrote on August 29th, 2012
  20. I made these last night and they were phenomenal! I did, however, have some slight variations while making them.

    -I found this too late in the day so I couldn’t use my crockpot and didn’t want to wait until today! So I put the stuffed peppers in an 8×8 pan (that I had lined with foil). I put about 3/4 C water in the pan, covered with foil, and cooked at 350 for about an hour. I did use half beef and half pork.

    -I didn’t have the spices in the recipe available, so I substituted with an equivalent amount of Italian Seasoning. Mmmmmmm!

    -Instead of putting the extra meat in the bottom, I added a couple eggs to what was leftover, packed it into a meatloaf pan, and stuck it in the fridge for tonight’s dinner! Took it out today and cooked it at 350 for about an hour. It was super juicy, and absolutely incredible. It also held it’s shape very well.

    Maddie wrote on September 13th, 2012
  21. This looks amazing! But one thing…do you really add salt and pepper to taste? Cuz that’s raw pork…lol

    rachel wrote on September 24th, 2012
  22. Sooooo bland! Double or triple the spices, for sure. We covered it in salsa

    beth wrote on October 16th, 2012
  23. Though I altered the ingredients just a bit (less meat, more veggies like mushroom, zucchini), this recipe was so, so bland. I had to add more spices to it after cooking just to give it SOME kind of flavor.

    I second others’ mentions of putting cottage cheese, egg, or more tomato sauce in with it to try to give it more flavor and consistency.

    It ended up being chopped veggies in a boring broth inside peppers rather than really yummy peppers with a delicious filling :( It’ll take a lot of tweaking to make it taste better!

    Julie wrote on October 29th, 2012
  24. I didn’t have tomato paste so I used canned pumpkin. I also cooked a little filling to try and it was a little dry so I put some unconstitued canned tomato soup over the top. Not my first choice, but it is what I happened to have.

    Kim wrote on November 27th, 2012
  25. My boyfriend and I are new to paleo – just starting out this weekend. Trying this dish tonight! :)

    Jen Mathews wrote on December 9th, 2012
  26. Fab idea to work on further!

    We used yellow peppers and mixed rice and Worcestershire sauce into the stuffing mix along with salt and lots of black pepper.

    Only used 1lb pork mince, but after filling five peppers we still have loads left. Loving the idea of cooking with a fried egg on top, so have bought some enormous flat mushrooms to stuff with the mixture tomorrow. Will mix 1/2 tin of chopped tomatoes and some tomato purée into the mixture, then stuff mushrooms and cook in normal oven for about an hour. Looking forward to eating with some chilli sauce/Tabasco and a fried egg on top!

    LoopyTK wrote on December 21st, 2012
  27. Made this last night– my kids loved it and want me to make it again– we cut he cauliflower by 1/2 cup and added 2 oz tomato paste

    P wrote on January 4th, 2013
  28. Made the recipe using beef instead of pork and it tasted terrible! Meat was dry and there were way too much spices. Bell peppers tasted metallic and were not edible. I couldn’t eat more than two bites before I threw out the whole dish.

    iampissed wrote on February 3rd, 2013
  29. I have this cooking in my crock pot right now, and though it smells amazing, I’m kinda scared- there is a LOT of liquid, and I didn’t even add the recommended amount of water, and there seems to be a LOT of grease. I didn’t brown the meat before I stuffed the peppers because the recipe didn’t say to, but should I have?

    AnnaMarie wrote on February 26th, 2013
  30. If there’s too much liquid, you can always take some out with a spoon. It usually ends up being quite saucy and you can scoop it all over ur cooked peppers afterwords.
    It’s not necessary to brown the meat prior to stuffing the peppers, although I have done it both ways. Again, if the meat is pretty greasy, just fish that extra greese out with a spoon.

    Chocolatechip69 wrote on February 26th, 2013
  31. Be there a vegetarian version of this? and most definitely I need gluten free. I barely tolerate dairy but gluten makes me seriously ill. Meat makes me sick too, especially pork (this could be psychological).

    J K Michelson wrote on April 30th, 2013
  32. Could anyone tell me exactly how I could add rice to the meal in the crockpot?

    Susy wrote on May 13th, 2013
  33. I have been looking for healthy recipes that might appeal to my picky husband. This is one of the ones that I am trying. I just prepped these peppers last night and put them in the freezer, so he can pull and cook since I work at night. I prepared these exactly the way it was listed above using ground beef. Since there was some meat leftover, I formed it into a mini meatloaf and cooked it. I really enjoyed the flavor and can imagine this being amazing in the pepper. You can’t taste the veggies in it at all, which will work wonderfully for my husband. I will definitely be adding more spices to the mix as well as a sauce on top. Definitely a good base recipe with lots of room to experiment.

    Heather wrote on June 14th, 2013
  34. These are cooking in my crockpot, as I type and snow falls outside, in Colorado. The house smells amazing! I am cooking on high for 4 hours, so will let you know if this works. I used half ground beef and half pork. I also used beef broth instead of water to surround peppers.

    I’m making an Israeli Couscous to go with it, as I did not add rice. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

    Ellen O. wrote on December 4th, 2013
  35. Not good. Do not recommend at all.

    E @ Oh! Apostrophe wrote on January 8th, 2014
  36. Good recipe! I was pretty excited to make it, but I’ll be honest…the green bell pepper was bitter and kind of ruined it. Also, 2 pounds of pork was way too much…I’d recommend 1 pound and maybe adding some other spices like cumin or something to make it a bit more flavorful.

    Rebecca wrote on March 10th, 2014
  37. I’m trying this with ground bison tonight.

    lauren wrote on September 8th, 2014
  38. If i Cook in the overn for the 1-2 hours do you know what temperature I would cook them at…350?

    Megan wrote on April 8th, 2015
  39. Yes, I’d do 350 in the oven, but it will probably take less than two hrs to cook.

    Kate wrote on April 8th, 2015
  40. Looks wonderful! What is the nutrition value for these?

    Julie wrote on May 20th, 2015

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