Freedmen’s Inspired Smoked Cabbage Slaw

This is an easy copy cat recipe for the smoked cabbage slaw they used to serve at Freedmen’s Bar and Smokehouse.  It is gluten-free and dairy-free, too!

Freedmen's Inspired Smoked Cabbage Slaw

Freedmen’s Bar and Smokehouse

I’m so sad that Freedmen’s on campus closed down.  I really loved their BBQ and sides and we used to go often and sit on the patio.  

I actually 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 shops for healthy food.  So many more people living on campus now, too.


Like I said, we enjoyed sitting on the patio, which had such a nice breeze, as we sipped our favorite cocktail – the Smokin’ Cactus.  

The food was awesome.  Delicious BBQ, which is usually a safe bet for gluten-free and dairy-free options.  That house made sausage was awesome.    

But I wanted more of that grilled cabbage slaw.  It was smoky and zesty and I couldn’t stop eating it. 

So of course I had to try a copy cat recipe.

Smoked Cabbage Slaw

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 Colgin’s 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!  

And of course, we used all organic ingredients except for the liquid smoke.  

Here’s the recipe!


Want More Recipes Like Smoked Cabbage Slaw?

Bacon Brussels Sprouts

Freedmen’s Inspired Smoked Cabbage Slaw

This is a copy cat recipe for the smoked cabbage slaw they used to make at Freedmen’s Bar & Smokehouse.  It’s gluten-free and dairy-free!

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword smoked cabbage slaw
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6
Author Deana Larkin Evans


  • 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.

Deana Larkin Evans

You get one life - do your best to ENJOY IT! So 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 had to start eating gluten-free in 2010, then cut dairy and casein (except for the occasional Parmesan) in 2014. We learned A2 casein (goat, sheep and buffalo milk) is easier to digest than the predominate A1 form in cow milk. So we brought back goat milk dairy into our recipes in 2016. Thank goodness, right! So 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. Currently, I'm learning about the microbiome and gut health. And trying to come up with healthy recipes to feed those gut bugs! #feedthegutbugs

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.