joe’s special (my way)

$9.18 recipe / $1.53 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.70 from 13 votes
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This recipe comes courtesy of my dear friend, Ashley. She was looking for something to cook for dinner one night and decided to type the ingredients she had on hand into google (I think it was google) and Joe’s Special popped up.

Joe’s Special is a recipe created and made famous by a San Francisco restaurant, which basically consists of ground beef, spinach, and eggs. There have been hundreds of variations since, and this is one of them. What makes this version mine? Well, just that I added what I had in my fridge. Primarily feta cheese, which happens to go right along with the spinach and oregano already in the basic recipe. If you don’t have feta, no worries, just use parmesan alone and it will still be delish.

I listed the serving size for this recipe as just one cup. Sure, that’s kind of small, but I really see this dish as just one part of a breakfast (or lunch, or dinner). Serve it open face over whole grain toast, stuffed inside a pita, and with a piece of fresh fruit on the side for a well rounded meal.

Joe’s Special (my way)

Top view of a plate of Joe's Special

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Joe's Special (my way)

4.70 from 13 votes
Joe's special - a hearty ground beef and egg dish featuring spinach, parmesan cheese, and savory herbs.
Servings 6
Prep 5 mins
Cook 25 mins
Total 30 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
  • 1 yellow onion ($0.28)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 1 lb. ground beef (90/10) ($4.93)
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano ($0.07)
  • 1/2 tsp salt ($0.03)
  • 1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce ($0.06)
  • 1/2 lb. frozen chopped spinach ($0.75)
  • 6 large eggs ($1.50)
  • 2 oz. feta cheese (optional) ($0.87)
  • 2 Tbsp grated parmesan ($0.21)

Instructions 

  • Mince the garlic and dice the onion. Cook both in skillet with olive oil over medium heat until soft and transparent (about 5 minutes).
  • Add the ground beef, oregano, salt, and worcestershire sauce. Cook until the beef is no longer pink, breaking it up into pieces as it cooks (7-10 minutes).
  • Once the beef is fully cooked, add the frozen spinach. Cook and stir until it has thawed and heated through, breaking up clumps as you go.
  • Briefly whisk 6 eggs in a bowl. Push the beef and spinach mixture to one side of the skillet (or make a well in the center) and pour in the eggs. Gently scramble the eggs until they are cooked through, but still moist. Try not to mix them into the meat as they cook or you’ll have beef coated in egg, rather than clumps of cooked egg. Once the egg is cooked, stir it into the beef mixture and turn off the burner.
  • Crumble or roughly chop the feta cheese and sprinkle it over the skillet. Also sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese. Stir to combine, taste, adjust the salt if needed, and then serve.

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Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 301kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 25gFat: 20gSodium: 518mgFiber: 2g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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Siracha being poured on a plate of Joe's Special
Sriracha – because that’s how I roll. What did you expect?

Step By Step Photos

onion and garlic in pan
Start here, as usual. Minced garlic, diced onion, and olive oil. Cook over medium heat until soft and transparent.

ground beed and herbs added to pan
Next add the ground beef, oregano, and salt. If you’re feeling sassy, add some crushed red pepper flakes.

Jar of Worcestershire sauce
Also add the Worcestershire sauce, which gives the dish some extra savory oomph and just a touch of sweetness. Cook until the beef is fully browned.

bag of frozen spinach
I tend to like the frozen spinach in a bag rather than the block because I think it has a better texture, but you could certainly use the block kind if you need. Just make sure that it’s CHOPPED spinach, so that you don’t have long stringy pieces. I used a half pound (8 ounces), but if you want to use a whole 10 ounce block, that would work just fine.

spinach added to meat mixture in pan
Once the beef is fully cooked, add the spinach. Keep cooking until the spinach thaws and then fully heats through.

eggs added to pan
While the spinach is cooking, lightly whisk the eggs. I don’t like to whisk until completely smooth because I like some separation of white and yolk, but that’s just me. Push the beef mixture to the side and pour in the eggs. Cook the eggs without mixing them in with the beef. Only combine the two sides once the eggs have cooked, otherwise, you’ll just coat the beef in eggs and you won’t have any egg clumps. If your pan has a thin bottom or doesn’t heat evenly, you can do this in the center of the pan (right over the heat) instead of on the side. Just push the beef out to the edges.

mixed egg and beef mixture
Once the egg is cooked, stir it into the beef and turn off the burner. If you want even BIGGER clumps of egg, scramble them in a separate skillet then stir them in.

cutting feta cheese
Roughly chop the feta or crumble it with your hands. If you’re using just parmesan, increase the amount to 1/4 cup instead of just 2 tablespoons.

feta and parmesan added to pan
Add the cheeses to the skillet.

finished joe's special in pan
Stir it all together, taste it, and adjust the salt if needed. The amount and type of cheese that you use will dictate how much salt is needed.

Top view of a plate of Joe's Special
You don’t have to wait for breakfast to have this super filling dish…

Half a pita stuffed with Joe's Special on a plate
Stuff it inside of a pita or serve over a slice of hearty toast. I have to admit, a tomato would be AWESOME with this!

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Comments

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  1. Dont drain the beef after cooking or did I miss to drain it?

    For nutritional info…. is that based on 80/20? 90/10? In my dietary case it would be beneficial to know what is being used. Thanks!!!

    1. Hi! Choose 90/10 beef and don’t drain. The nutrition is based on 90/10. Thanks for being here!

  2. Ingredient pricing must be tripled and doubled for California!  Lol!  
    Lucky you to the rest of yous…

  3. I make this nearly every time a family pack of ground beef is on sale. Simple, tasty, and very flexible! Recently I spiced this with za’atar, and finished with some lemon juice alongside the feta for a sort of Middle Eastern flair. Yum!

  4. I used Italian seasoned turkey burger, but followed your directions. My dog went nutz over it. I loved it also.

  5. This looks great! I am doing keto and always need to check the carb count, so in case anyone else was wondering:

    Nutrition Facts
    Servings: 6
    Amount per serving
    Calories 296
    % Daily Value*
    Total Fat 16.6g 21%
    Saturated Fat 5.5g 27%
    Cholesterol 262mg 87%
    Sodium 479mg 21%
    Total Carbohydrate 4.3g 2%
    Dietary Fiber 1.3g 5%
    Total Sugars 2g
    Protein 31.9g
    Vitamin D 18mcg 88%
    Calcium 124mg 10%
    Iron 16mg 91%
    Potassium 616mg 13%
    *The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.
    Recipe analyzed by verywell

    1. We only recently brought on a Registered Dietician to our team. She’s working hard behind the scenes to update the entire recipe database, over 1500+ recipes, with nutritional information. She’s working her way from the newest recipes back and it takes some time to update them all. Stay tuned!

  6. My apartment smelled heavenly when I made Joe’s Special for breakfast. It was so good that I came back for seconds!!! I’ll definitely make it again soon. Thank you, Beth!!! :-)

  7. This Joe’s special recipe is sacrilege and heresy! I say this as a 4th generation San Franciscan. My beloved, late Mom used to make it at least twice a month for dinner when she didn’t have much time to shop or cook. Cheese? Worcester sauce?!
    It actually sounds great. But you MUST add just a dash of nutmeg. My Mom was Greek. She’d approve of the oregano in lieu of basil and the addition of feta cheese and shoving it into pita bread:) Looking forward to trying your version!

  8. Made this tonight for the family. Inexpensive, quick, and easy. Also delicious. It’s definitely going into the rotation.

    Do you think it would freeze well?

    1. Eggs are kind of so-so when frozen. It depends on how much texture changes bother you. They tend to seep a little water when thawed and will always cook a little further when they’re reheated, so it just depends on if that bothers you or not.

      1. Beth…there is no listing for frozen eggs! I believe you read the line above in the recipe that calls for frozen chopped spinach.

        1. Gael… I believe Beth was responding to Eric’s question of whether or not the recipe would freeze well. SMH. Great recipe though.

    2. You might want to add
      Drain all liquid before the eggs or you’ll end up with soup

  9. yummy and so easy! I customized by adding more Worcestershire, scrambling only 5 eggs instead of 6, substituting a mix of ground pork and beef b/c that’s what was on sale; I also added chopped kale and a healthy dash of my favourite creole seasoning. served with goat queso and siracha wrapped in tortillas with tomatoes and cucumbers on the side for my work lunch for 2 delicious days. thanks beth! another winner :)

  10. I just made this. The only thing I added was a red pepper and doubled the Worcestershire sauce. I am planning on serving it over egg noodles for dinner. This is seriously delicious! I will definitely be making it again! :-)