Mediterranean Kabobs from Paradise Garden Grill at Disney California Adventure Park

Quick and delish, Paradise Garden Grill at Disney California Adventure park offers a tasty, unusual menu: skewers of beef kefta, grilled steak, lemon-oregano chicken, and veggies and tofu.

Our favorite is the kefta, a popular type of ground, seasoned meat, much like meatballs, that’s popular in the Middle East. Served with rice pilaf, a kicky chili sauce and cool cucumber salad, it’s healthful and filling.

Disney California Adventure park chef Jay Garcia shows you how to make this delectable version at home.

Mediterranean Kabob with Moroccan Chili Sauce, Rice Pilaf, and Cucumber Salad
Serves 4 to 6

Kabob Mixture
1/2 cup bulgur (cracked wheat)
1 cup boiling water
2 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup finely diced onions
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coarse salt
2 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Moroccan Chili Sauce
1 (14.5-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons harissa (Mediterranean chili paste)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 carrot, diced

Rice Pilaf
4 cups vegetable stock
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups white rice
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
Coarse salt, to taste

Cucumber Salad
4 cucumbers, sliced on a diagonal
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1/2 green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup olive oil

For kabob mixture:

  1. Soak 10 wooden skewers in cool water for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, place bulgur in a large bowl. Pour boiling water over bulgur and set aside until water is absorbed and bulgur is cool, about 30 minutes.
  3. Add ground beef, onions, parsley, mint, garlic, cumin seeds, salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne to bulgur in bowl. Mix with hands until just combined. Refrigerate 1 hour.
  4. Shape mixture into 15 to 20 oblong balls and form around skewers.
  5. Grill kabobs over medium-high heat, 8 to 10 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 158°F. Alternatively, bake in a 400°F oven 20 to 25 minutes, or until cooked through.

For Moroccan chili sauce:

  1. Place stewed tomatoes, garlic, lemon juice, harissa, red pepper flakes, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and cayenne in the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth; set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion and carrots; sauté 2 minutes, or until onion is translucent.
  3. Add tomato mixture. Simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

For rice pilaf:

  1. Combine vegetable stock, cumin, and pepper in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden. Add onions and celery; cook until vegetables are softened.
  3. Carefully add hot vegetable stock mixture to rice mixture. Bring to a simmer, then place lid on pan. Cook until rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving. Season to taste with salt.

For cucumber salad:

  1. Combine cucumbers, red pepper, and green pepper in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together lemon juice, salt, pepper, oregano, and sugar in a small bowl. Whisk in oil until completely combined.
  3. Pour dressing over vegetables; toss to combine. Refrigerate salad until ready to serve.

To serve:
Serve skewers over rice pilaf with cucumber salad on the side and with Moroccan chili sauce for dipping.

Check out these posts for more recipes from around Disney Parks:


  • Mmm-mm, this sounds delicious! I love all of the Disney resort recipes, it’s a fun way to bring the parks home! 🙂 Any chance we might get the Fried Green Tomato Sandwich recipe from Hungry Bear restaurant next? I’d love to make that again for my vegetarian boyfriend, who loved it!

  • We love the meals at Paradise Garden Grill! Any chance we could get the chimichurri sauce recipe?

  • This (well, steak, not ground beef) is my FAVORITE meal at California Adventure!!! (…so far…) I’ve been wondering how on earth I’d make a sauce as delicious as at the Paradise Garden Grill, and now I can make it myself!

    I love that area with the shade and fans and large trees, it gets even better with the live music. 🙂 This makes me feel a little better about not being able to get an annual pass this time around — now I can console myself with more tasty Disney food!

    Can’t go wrong with your recipes either — my other favorite is the Big Thunder BBQ coleslaw. Delicious! 😀

  • I’ve heard great things about the skewers! I’ve seen Youtuber ajruck mention how tasty they are and now I HAVE to try them! Thanks for sharing Pam. 🙂

  • Hands down, The Paradise Garden Grill is my favorite restaurant at the entire Disney Resort. Try to time your meal around the live performance by The Ellis Island Boys. Truly a great find!

  • Thanks for sharing. This soundds great – I’m going to try it this weekend. And again next year at DCA 🙂

  • These meals are really delicious! The chicken skewer with chimichurri sauce has become my go-to meal choice for Disney dining.

  • The Paradise Garden Grill has very good food, because of its unusual menu, I’ve noticed that many people tend to go to Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta, but still, those kabobs are tasty. Everyone should give this place a try.

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