Crock Pot Pork Loin


This is a perfect paleo crock pot recipe for those days when you’re too busy to make an elaborate dinner in the evening and produces a delicious, tender, fall-apart pork loin dish. Zucchini and cauliflower are added for texture. You can sear the pork loin in coconut oil before adding it to the crockpot for greater flavor. Onion and garlic can be added as well. This dish is very tasty over spaghetti squash.

Recipe makes 4 servings.
Approximate Cook Time: 4-8 hours
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Votes: 25
Rating: 4.28
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11/2 pound(s) pork loin
1 can(s) tomato sauce (15 oz)
2 medium zucchini, sliced
1 head(s) cauliflower, separated into medium florets
2 tablespoon(s) basil, dried
1/4 teaspoon(s) black pepper, freshly ground
1/2 teaspoon(s) sea salt, (optional)


  1. Add all of the ingredients to a large crock pot.
  2. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low 7-8 hours.


  1. trainman414

    This was totally awesome. I substituted the sauce for canned whole tomatoes and added 4 cloves of garlic..super good!

  2. krissyard

    If I don’t love cauliflower, would broccoli be a good substitute?

    • Jason G.

      Feel free to try it, although, the cauliflower is pretty mild in taste, and more of a texture in the meal. You might try 1/2 cauliflower and 1/2 broccoli to see which you prefer in this meal.

  3. CrossFit Mom For Life

    I would suggest leaving out the cauliflower and making “mashed cauliflower” as a side. Tastes just like mashed potatoes! yum!

  4. CliffDeb

    We didn’t add the cauliflower, and added 4 garlic cloves, 1 1/2 onions, used canned tomatoes and added a half can of water. This was really good.

  5. Zach46

    what size can tomato sauce?

    • Jason G.

      I don’t care for foods with a strong tomato flavor, so I use a small 6oz can, but you can use a larger can if you want more tomato flavor.

  6. Chrisjon2003

    I bet this would be fantastic with a can of spicy Rotel tomatoes…although I must say I have not checked out their ingredient list to see if it is all paleo.

  7. romansellbin

    This was very yummy!! Because this is my first week on the plan I am trying to use a few items on hand which means I used a can of tex-mex tomatoes (great value, Walmart brand). It really gave it a great flavor. I’ll try to find something comparable but low sodium and organic the next time.

  8. sandysean

    What can be substituted for the pork loin? Could we use chicken?

    • Jason G.

      I haven’t tried it with chicken, but I imagine it would be fine.

  9. Dani

    I am used to searing roasts before adding them in a crock pot or oven to seal in the juices and can I sear in coconut oil the loin in Paleo cooking methods?

    • Neely

      Yes, absolutely. I do the same with my roasts.

  10. Lauren

    I tried the mashed cauliflower, it was delicious! Great substitute for a potato lover!

  11. fyrhulk

    Don’t add the cauliflower until you have an hour left. Otherwise it gets a nasty tase. Aside from that, extremely yummy meal!

  12. Leslie

    It’s my understanding that canned tomatoes are really bad for you… mostly because of the can, not the tomato of course. I’m not a nutritionist, but the basic idea is that the acid leaches BPA from the can lining into the food. Any problems with using fresh tomatoes or some other alternative?

    • Neely

      There’s absolutely nothing wrong with using fresh tomatoes – I encourage you to do it. Also, Muir Glen switched their tomatoes to BPA cans last year, so some of their products are BPA free. There are still old Muir Glen BPA cans on the shelves, though, so look for expiration dates of 2013 or beyond for the newest cans. Still, there’s no guarantee you’re getting BPA can. That’s what I’ve read, at least. Thanks for the comment!


      Neely Quinn, Nutrition Therapist
      Paleo Plan

  13. fefifo19

    trainmen414 did you put whole garlic clover’s or did you mince the garlic?

  14. tigerain7

    We’re a no-pork household, but my local grocery store sells turkey tenderloins that work as a great substitute in recipes that call for a pork loin. Seeing as it is just my husband and I, it also ensures that there will be leftovers!

  15. Judie Rahman

    This is a great recipe however I didn’t like how the zucchini got mushy. The smell of the cauliflower bothered me a bit too. We modified this a bit by adding fresh Kale to the pot for the last 20 minutes of cooking. All in all, I’d scrap the zucchini and cauliflower and replace with carrots and tons of kale.

  16. jschell

    Are there instructions for those of us without a crock pot?

    • Neely

      @jschell – Not at this time, no. The crockpot makes this meal really do-able for people during the week, since there’s so little time investment. Can you go out and get a crockpot by chance? They’re not very expensive and can be stored in a closet if you don’t have a lot of counter space for storage. Like this one on Amazon would be just fine. If you do it on the stove, it takes a lot of tweaking with the amount of liquid in the recipe, and it takes hours on the stovetop. If anyone else has any suggestions for converting this recipe into a stovetop recipe, we’d love to hear them.

  17. Kim

    Delicious but next time we are going to try it without the cauliflower. The smell and taste was very over powering. I love cauliflower, but couldn’t really taste anything else.
    Also, I shredded the zucchini in the food processor, it was perfect- I think next time I would triple the zucchini.

  18. Ted

    Do I cube the pork loin?

    • Neely

      @Ted – You could if you want, but it’s supposed to be a quick meal, so you might just want to leave it whole.

  19. Brittany

    Ok, so this was fantastic. I was a little skeptical (I don’t often make pork, I don’t often use my crock pot), but it was so, so good! I used a pork tenderloin (as opposed to a pork loin roast, etc.) and seared it before putting it into the slow cooker. I also sliced and tossed in half an onion I had lying around and 4 whole cloves garlic. My can of sauce didn’t cover my meat to my liking, so I also added 1/4 c. water (however I don’t think this was necessary). I cooked on high for 4 hours, at which point it was done according to my quick read thermometer. Having read the above comments about mushy veggies, I didn’t add my cauliflower and zucchini until the last 1 or 2 hours (already forgotten!). The veggies turned out perfect. At 4 hours, I turned it to low for 30 more minutes until I was ready to eat, at which point the meat fell apart as I removed it to portion out four meals. Amazing.

  20. Athensalie

    This was absolutely delicious! I followed another’s suggestion and added a sliced onion and some garlic. Highly recommended, especially over spaghetti squash.

  21. ameskm99

    Do you think it would be okay to cook it on Low for a longer time? I am away from home for more than 6 hours and have totally burnt some crock pot meals in the past.

    • Neely

      @ameskm99 – Yes, I do.

  22. poorpaddy

    Porbably a silly question but I never used my crock pot until today. What temp should the crockpot be on if it gives options like high or low?

    • Neely

      poorpaddy – The instructions actually say, “Cook on high for 6-7 hours.”

  23. Manon

    This dish was awful. My house smelled like Manhattan in the summer (trash) for hours but I was determined to try it. The result looked disgusting and tasted even worse. I hate to throw out food, but that was really the only option for this mess.

  24. cartertx

    We left out the cauliflower, and held off on the zucchini and just had it on the side. I opted to use seasoned tomato sauce, and cooked it in the crock pot on low for about 8 hours. This turned out great – so tender it fell apart. Great recipe – will definitely make this again.

  25. Bridget

    I am wanting to make this for 4 people and the recipes says it serves 2. If I were to use a 3 lb. pork loin, how does this affect the cooking time?

  26. Fyfe

    Following the advice of some other comments, I steamed my cauliflower and zucchini separately and added it for the last 20 minutes in the crock pot. My tenderloin was a little huge (2 lbs), so fitting everything in the crock was a bit difficult, but well worth it. The meat just fell apart in huge shredded chunks and was so juicy from the tomato sauce. This was great, and also made almost 7 servings (due in part to the huge tenderlion). My boyfriend has already asked this become a regular in our meal rotation!

  27. Lane

    What do you serve with this? And how do you present it? It doesn’t have the most appealing presentation. I wish I had seen the comment to wait to put the veggies in. Mine turned into mush. :( The meat is great though!

  28. hfoster

    I like the sauce, but the meat was dry and doesn’t have a lot of flavor. We added chicken broth and a little bit of water, but later in the cooking process. Any suggestions?

  29. Cait

    The first time I tried this, I got worried and added a lot more liquid than I needed. It was very soupy and the meat was dry. It was okay, but not great. I did a little research on slow cooking and found out that chicken and pork don’t need that much liquid since they give off a lot of their own juices. So, I tried again the other night and WHAT A DIFFERENCE!! I added the spices to the pork and rubbed them in a little, then I poured the tomato sauce on top. I added about half a can (8oz) of veggie broth around the sides so I didn’t wash off the tomato sauce from the top of the pork, then cooked on low for 8 hours. It. Was. Perfect! I never add the vegetables until an hour before serving so they don’t get too mushy. This just tasted wonderful and is now on the favorites list. So easy, so few ingredients, maximum flavor!

  30. Tara

    This recipe was great. I was a bit skeptical because it was so simple and required so few ingredients. I didn’t really change much, except to add about 1/2 cup of water (which in hindsight was unnecessary). I did decide to sear the pork loin briefly before adding to the crock pot after reading some of the above posts. Also, I checked on the meat after 4 hrs, and it was cooked perfectly. I eat pork loin often, and was very impressed at how flavorful and delicious it came out in the crock pot. The best part is I have lots of veggies left over to add to lunch or dinner tomorrow.

  31. BetAnn

    Just started on the plan this week. Looking forward to trying this recipe; thanks for your comments.

  32. PKHPaleo

    I would defiantly Not put the veggies in right away. I had the meat in on LOW for 7 hrs, the meat just fell apart and tasted good. I seared the pork before adding it to the crock-pot with the tomato sauce and spices (I also added 4 cloves of garlic) I added the veggies the last 2 hrs since I had to be away and they still got incredibly mushy. For the future I will probably cook just the meat in the crock pot, steam the veggies in a different pot then top the meat and veggies with the sauce from the crock-pot for serving. The overall taste of the dish was very good.

  33. gdougherty

    Neely, would highly recommend modding the recipe to throw the veggie in at the end as others have noted. Final result had an unpleasant musty odor, though it tasted better than it smelled, which was surprisingly bland. Garlic or something else would have helped. Veggies according to the recipe were midwestern style overcooked mush with a less than stellar presentation.

    It has promise, but as written is certainly subpar in comparison to some of the other recipes on the plan so far.

  34. best slow cooker 2013

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    I am allergic to tomatoes. What would you suggest as a substitute to make this recipe in the crockpot?

    • Neely – So tomatoes offer water and acidity (and of course their tomato flavor), so maybe you could do a little lime juice a little water and some onion or another veggie of your choice?

  36. al-x

    Made this last night and it was wonderful!

  37. Phylicia

    I love mashed cauliflower, but my husband hates the smell of it. I will sub roasted cauliflower instead

  38. Ken

    I have a very strong dislike for anything that tastes like coconut. Is there another Paleo approved oil I can use?

    • Neely

      Ken – Sure, you can use bacon fat, pastured lard, pastured tallow, olive oil, or red palm oil.

  39. Jason

    I’m confused – this website says to set the slow cooker on “high”, but the version contained in the e-book specifically says to set it on “low”. Everything else (ingredients, cooking time) is identical so which is it: low, or high?

  40. Neely

    Jason – Sorry for any confusion. We added some instructions above to clarify. Thanks for bringing it to our attention!

  41. barbara vaughn

    I used a large can of whole tomatoes, was wonderful, next time I will use two cans, I love tomatoes. Never enough.

  42. Jessee

    I’m allergic to coconut and notice that a lot of these recipes call for coconut oil or coconut milk. What other oils/milks are acceptable? I’m just starting this week with paleo, so i’m really new to this. thank you!!

    • Kinsey Jackson

      Hi Jessee,

      This article has some helpful recommendations for how to replace commonly used coconut products in the Paleo Diet. Congrats on your decision to take the Paleo leap! We are super excited for you! Please keep us posted on how your progress, and if you have any other questions.


      Best regards,
      Kinsey Jackson, MS, CN
      Paleo Plan

  43. virgi

    Do I have to use can tomatoes or can I use fresh tomatoes?

    • Karen

      Sure you can use fresh tomatoes. Try 2-3 chopped up. You will want a little more than 2.5 cups if you are measuring. Good luck and tell us how it works for you.

  44. sophie5

    This unfortunately was really bad. The basil and the cauliflower gave the whole thing some really off flavors. The only positive is that the pork roast really does come out tender and fall apart. I would scrap this recipe and do barbecue pulled pork in the crock-pot instead, served with a cabbage slaw of some sort.

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Crock Pot Pork Loin

Number of servings 4
Approximate cooking time: 4-8 hours

Nutritional information provided to Paleo Plan
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11/2 pound(s) pork loin
1 can(s) tomato sauce (15 oz)
2 medium zucchini, sliced
1 head(s) cauliflower, separated into medium florets
2 tablespoon(s) basil, dried
1/4 teaspoon(s) black pepper, freshly ground
1/2 teaspoon(s) sea salt, (optional)


  1. Add all of the ingredients to a large crock pot.
  2. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low 7-8 hours.