Sloppy Joe is an American classic consisting of ground beef or pork and a tomato sauce sandwiched between toasted hamburger buns. It’s such an easy meal that comes together in just one skillet, and so we have enjoyed plenty a sloppy joe’s in my house—some sloppier than others depending on the maker. I like mine extra sloppy, and being a Greek blogger, I like mine extra Greek. How do you make a sloppy joe Greek, you ask? You start with using ground lamb (or pork) instead of ground beef, and incorporate seasonings like cinnamon and oregano and fresh garlic to the mix. Later, Kalamata olives and crumble feta round out the dish for that extra Greek twist. Oh, and we are not done there. A name change is also necessary so get your best Greek accent ready and instead of “Joe” say “Tzo.” There you have it—a Greek Sloppy Tzo. And remember, a sloppy tzo is intended to be messy, so there should be no clean hands when eating one.

"Sloppy Tzo" -Greek Sloppy Joe's
Recipe type: Dinner/Main Course
Cuisine: Greek American
Serves: 6-8
  • 2 pounds ground lamb or pork (or a combination of the two)
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons dry oregano, or more to taste
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon, or more to taste
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 cup of water
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives, lightly chopped
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 8 brioche or hamburger buns, toasted
  1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat and add the lamb (or pork). Pound the meat with a spoon to break up into chunks. Season generously with salt, pepper, cinnamon, and oregano and brown the meat.
  2. Add onions, green pepper and garlic and cook until onions have softened.
  3. Add tomato sauce, red pepper flakes, ketchup, water, and Worcestershire sauce to the pot.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes and taste for flavor. Add more salt and pepper, cinnamon and oregano if needed. Add more of what you prefer. I tend to add a lot of cinnamon and oregano.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in chopped Kalamata olives and crumbled feta.
  6. Serve on toasted buns.
Alternatively, if you have any leftover kima (meat sauce) you have and plop it on a toasted bun.