Joe’s Special: it’s a revelation. I recently asked followers what recipes they are looking for for back to school and there was an overwhelming consensus: dishes with ground beef that are reasonable and easy for fall.  I wanted to change it up by adding pork and exotic mushrooms but it stays true to the original with ground beef, onions, spinach and eggs.

If you have never heard of Joe’s Special, you are not alone. A Northern California and Pacific Northwest diner staple, it originated in the 1920’s in an Italian-American restaurant in San Francisco, called New Joe’s (although there is a debate about whether it was actually New Joe’s OR Original Joe’s!)  While the New Joe’s is long gone, the tradition of Joe’s Special stayed – the perfect fall dish that’s great for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

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Whole30 Joe’s Special

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  • Author: nocrumbsleft
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min
  • Total Time: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 cup chopped shallots 
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms 
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil 
  • ½ pound ground beef 
  • ½ cup raw compliant mild Italian sausage 
  • 1 teaspoon kosher 
  • ½ black pepper 
  • ½ teaspoon dry basil 
  • ½ teaspoon dry oregano 
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne 
  • 8 ounces spinach (about 8 cups) 
  • 12 eggs, beaten 
  • Marinated Onions MAGIC ELIXIRS (click here for recipe)


In a large bowl mix the sausage and beef together. Set aside. 

In large pan, over medium high, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil.  Add the onions and sauté 2.5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, stir and cover for 2 minutes. Uncover and cook for 2 more minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and stir to combine. Add the meat mixture and stirring, cook for 4 minutes, separating the chunks of meat with a wooden spoon. Add the spinach, cooking for 1 minute, using 2 wooden spoons to toss while cooking.  

Add the oregano, basil and pepper. Add the eggs and lower the heat to medium low. When the eggs start to set, gently fold everything together and cook until the eggs are done about 4-5 minutes. Top with Marinated Onions MAGIC ELIXIRS. Serve.


If you would like your dish to be a little more beef and sausage forward (less eggs) follow the exact same directions above, but use only 7 eggs.