Keep these ingredients on hand and you'll always be able to get a tasty meal on the table.

Pantry Checklist

A well-stocked pantry of top-notch ingredients is the key to creative cooking. With these ingredients, you'll always be able to bring tasty and interesting dishes to the table. Once you've stocked up on the basics, you can expand into more unique and unusual ingredients as you feel inspired. Here's our list of basic items we recommend always keeping in your kitchen.

Quality is Key

Keep quality in mind as you stock up. Ingredients that deliver big, bold flavor elevate recipes from simply good to truly extraordinary. When it comes to selecting fruits, vegetables, herbs, seafood and meats, the fresher the better. Buy seasonal produce whenever possible, especially those items that are grown locally.

Don't Forget the Freezer

To get a jump-start on meal preparation, cook several dishes and freeze some for later use. Or, when seasonal items are available, stock up and store them in the freezer so you'll have them when you need them.

Here are some ideal recipes for the freezer.