Freedmen’s Inspired Smoked Cabbage Slaw #glutenfree #caseinfree

Freedmen's Meats & Smoked Cabbage Slaw

I know the BBQ steals the spotlight in this pic from Freedmen’s Bar & Smokehouse  but that grilled cabbage slaw in the corner was amazing!  It was smoky and zesty and I couldn’t stop eating it.  I really enjoyed hanging out at Freedmen’s and a chance to check out west campus again (during the summer when it wasn’t super crazy).  I used to live down the street when I was an undergrad at UT and my goodness campus has changed!  There are so many more apartments and places to eat and shop for healthy food.  So many more people living on campus now.


We sat on the patio and tried a crowd favorite cocktail – the Smokin’ Cactus.  The food was awesome (they have lots of gluten free options – but not the beans and bread) including that house made sausage.  But I wanted more of that grilled cabbage slaw.

Smoked Cabbage Slaw Copy Cat

So I tried to do a little copy cat.  Of course the real stuff is better, but since we don’t have a smoker or grill at home – I decided to try a little trick.  I used gluten free liquid smoke in a bottle.

Smoked Cabbage Slaw 1

Toss the cabbage in the liquid smoke and broil it in the oven under high temp until it’s tender and a little charred.  The kitchen will smell liked smoky goodness.

Smoked Cabbage Slaw 2

I just guessed the amounts of the other ingredients.  I have to say it was so good and really simple to make.  This would definitely be a crowd pleaser if you were barbecuing and looking for an interesting side dish.

Smoked Cabbage Slaw 3

First, I tried it with honey then I used maple syrup as the sweetener.  I like the honey version much better, but I’m trying to reduce my fructose intake so we substituted maple syrup – and it was still pretty good.  You kind of have to play with the proportions to get it exactly the way you like it!  I also have frozen cubes of chopped cilantro and a little olive oil in the freezer.  I thawed one of those and used it instead of fresh cilantro.  And of course, we used all organic ingredients except for the liquid smoke.   Here’s the recipe!

Freedmen’s Inspired Smoked Cabbage Slaw #glutenfree #caseinfree
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  • 1 medium head cabbage, sliced
  • 1-2 tbsp liquid smoke
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro


  1. Toss the sliced cabbage in liquid smoke in a large bowl.
  2. When the cabbage is coated, lay it on a large baking sheet. Broil under 'HI' for about 10-15 minutes, tossing once. Remove from oven and let cool.
  3. Mix together the other ingredients in a bowl then add the smoked cabbage.

And when you get the chance to visit Freedmen’s, try the Smokin’ Cactus (El Silencio mezcal, grapefruit, lime, jalapeno agave syrup, smoked sea salt).  You won’t be disappointed!



Deana Larkin Evans

Hi! I'm Deana. This food blog is all about cooking wholesome real food and developing gluten free recipes for some of our favorite comfort foods. I also create weekly menus to save time and money while reducing stress and food waste. I had to start eating gluten-free in 2010 and dairy/casein-free (except for the occasional Parmesan or goat cheese) in 2014. I'm kind of a science nerd, too. In the '90s, I earned an undergrad degree in biochemistry from The University of Texas at Austin. Hook 'em! Then followed up with a PhD in biochemistry and a law degree from the University of Houston. I recently earned a certificate in genomics/sequence analysis from Johns Hopkins University, where I also took a very cool food microbiology course.

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