How many calories are in a double Filet-O-Fish meal?

A double Filet-O-Fish meal from McDonald’s is a popular menu item that consists of two Filet-O-Fish sandwiches, a medium order of fries, and a medium soft drink. This combination meal packs a significant calorie punch, so it’s important to understand the nutrition facts if you are watching your calorie intake.

Calories in a Filet-O-Fish Sandwich

First, let’s examine the Filet-O-Fish sandwich on its own. One Filet-O-Fish sandwich at McDonald’s contains approximately:

  • 380 calories
  • 17 g fat
  • 18 g carbohydrates
  • 22 g protein

The Filet-O-Fish is made with Alaskan Pollock fish fillets that are battered and fried. It also contains tartar sauce and American cheese. The fish fillet itself is relatively low in calories, but deep frying adds a significant amount of fat and calories.

Calories in Medium French Fries

Next up are the medium fries. A medium order of fries at McDonald’s contains about:

  • 380 calories
  • 19 g fat
  • 44 g carbohydrates
  • 4 g protein

McDonald’s fries are made from potatoes that are sliced, fried in vegetable oil, and salted. A medium order provides 19% of the recommended daily value for sodium. The frying process adds a lot of additional calories.

Calories in Medium Soft Drink

To wash it all down, a medium soft drink from McDonald’s contains:

  • 150 calories
  • 0 g fat
  • 40 g carbohydrates
  • 0 g protein

A medium soft drink at McDonald’s is 21 ounces. There are no calories from fat or protein, just carbohydrates from the high fructose corn syrup. The carbohydrates equate to about 10 teaspoons of sugar.

Total Calories in a Double Filet-O-Fish Meal

When you add it all up, a full double Filet-O-Fish meal with a medium fries and drink contains:

  • About 910 calories
  • 36 g fat
  • 100 g carbohydrates
  • 26 g protein

That’s nearly half of the recommended daily calorie intake for an average adult in just one meal! Here is a breakdown of the percentage of calories per nutrient:

  • Fat: 36%
  • Carbohydrates: 44%
  • Protein: 20%

As you can see, nearly half the calories come from fat due to the fried fish and french fries. Carbohydrates make up 44% of calories, mostly from the soft drink and fries. Protein accounts for just 20% even though this meal contains fish.

Ways to Reduce Calories in a Filet-O-Fish Meal

If you want to enjoy a Filet-O-Fish meal but reduce the calorie count, here are some modifications you can request:

  • Order a small fry instead of a medium (-220 calories)
  • Choose a medium diet soft drink (-140 calories)
  • Skip the cheese on the sandwiches (-70 calories per sandwich)
  • Opt for apple slices instead of fries (-200 calories)
  • Request one sandwich instead of two (-380 calories)

Making some of these swaps can reduce the total meal calories by over 500 calories. You can also just opt to share the meal, eating one sandwich plus half the fries and drink.

Nutrition Facts Table for a Double Filet-O-Fish Meal

Item Calories Fat (g) Carbs (g) Protein (g)
Filet-O-Fish sandwich x2 760 34 36 44
Medium French fries 380 19 44 4
Medium soft drink 150 0 40 0
Total 910 36 100 26

This nutrition facts table summarizes the full calorie and nutrient breakdown for the entire McDonald’s double Filet-O-Fish meal.

The Filet-O-Fish Sandwich – A McDonald’s Staple

The Filet-O-Fish sandwich has been a popular menu item at McDonald’s since the early 1960s. Some key facts about the Filet-O-Fish include:

  • It was created by McDonald’s franchise owner Lou Groen in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1962.
  • Sales of the sandwich exploded when McDonald’s made it available nationwide in 1963.
  • It was developed as a meatless alternative option for Catholics abstaining from meat on Fridays during Lent.
  • The Filet-O-Fish became a permanent menu item due to its ongoing popularity.
  • Over 300 million Filet-O-Fish sandwiches are sold annually in the United States.

The Filet-O-Fish remains popular among those abstaining from meat for religious reasons or looking for a non-beef option. Its crispy exterior and tartar sauce continue to satisfy McDonald’s customers after over 50 years on the menu.

Ingredients in a Filet-O-Fish Sandwich

A McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwich contains the following ingredients:

  • Fish fillet – made from wild-caught Alaskan Pollock
  • Batter – made from enriched bleached wheat and yellow corn flours
  • Tartar sauce – ingredients include soybean oil, sweet relish, distilled vinegar, onion powder, and more
  • Pasteurized process American cheese
  • Steamed bun – made from enriched bleached flour

The fish itself provides protein, while the bun and tartar sauce add carbohydrates and fat. The ingredients represent a balance of flavors and textures – the soft bun and fish, creamy tartar sauce, and crispy batter.

Preparation Process for a Filet-O-Fish

Behind the scenes in McDonald’s kitchens, here is the process used to prepare a Filet-O-Fish sandwich:

  1. Fish fillets are delivered frozen and stored in freezers until needed for cooking
  2. Fish fillets are placed in wheat/corn batter and then deep fried in vegetable oil at 350°F for 2.5-3.5 minutes
  3. Buns are toasted/grilled for 15-20 seconds just before sandwich assembly
  4. Tartar sauce is portioned onto bottom bun
  5. Fried fish fillet is assembled on bottom bun
  6. Cheese slice is placed on top of fish fillet if ordered
  7. Top half of bun is added to complete sandwich
  8. Sandwiches are held in warmers until served

This quick cooking and assembly process allows the McDonald’s crew to serve up hot, customized Filet-O-Fish sandwiches within just a few minutes of order.

Filet-O-Fish Marketing Slogans

Some of the popular marketing slogans used for the Filet-O-Fish over the years include:

  • “The fish that catches people.” – 1960s
  • “McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwich. The fish America loves most.” – 1970s
  • “Everybody loves it.” – 1990s
  • “Give yourself a break.” – 1993
  • “A little Mac for your lighter side.” – 2002

These catchy slogans helped drive fish sandwich popularity and sales over the decades. McDonald’s marketing has emphasized its lightness, customizability, and ability to satisfy seafood cravings for those abstaining from meat.

Nutritional Benefits of Filet-O-Fish

Although the Filet-O-Fish meal is high in calories overall, the fish sandwich itself does provide some nutritional benefits. These include:

  • Protein – 22g per sandwich from the Alaskan Pollock fish fillet. Protein supports muscle growth and keeps you feeling fuller for longer.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids – fish provide beneficial omega-3s that are good for heart and brain health.
  • Calcium – the cheese provides about 15% of the daily recommended calcium, which strengthens bones.
  • No carbs – the fish itself is carb-free, making it a lower glycemic index option.

The Filet-O-Fish can provide high-quality protein, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals. Ordering it with customizations like no cheese and apple slices instead of fries maximizes these nutritional benefits.

Fish Sandwich Competition

The Filet-O-Fish has also inspired similar fast food fish sandwiches from competitors. A few examples include:

  • Long John Silver’s Crispy Whitefish Sandwich – features breaded and fried whitefish with lettuce and tartar sauce.
  • Burger King’s Big Fish Sandwich – offers a crispy battered fish filet topped with dill tartar sauce.
  • Wendy’s North Pacific Cod Sandwich – seasoned and grilled fillet with American cheese, lettuce, and tartar sauce.

However, despite new entries, the Filet-O-Fish remains the #1 most popular and well-known fish sandwich in the fast food industry. It benefited heavily from McDonald’s first mover advantage and has built an iconic following over the past 50+ years.

Fish SandwichTrends and Innovation

Fast food brands continue to innovate with more upscale and inventive fish sandwich offerings, including:

  • Shake Shack Crispy Cod Sandwich – uses cod coated in panko breadcrumbs with lettuce, tomato, and lemon mayo.
  • Arby’s Cajun Fish Sandwich – features Cajun seasoned tilapia fillet with melted cheddar cheese and tartar sauce.
  • McDonald’s McBrunch Sandwich – tested a breakfast fish sandwich with eggs and bacon in select markets.

Chains are also starting to offer healthier grilled or baked versions of fish sandwiches. Homemade and gourmet twists like fish tacos and po’boys have taken off as more upscale menu items as well.

The Filet-O-Fish Outside the U.S.

While firmly established in the U.S., the Filet-O-Fish is also popular internationally. Here is a look at some countries that have adopted the Filet-O-Fish on local menus:

  • Japan – features the Shrimp Filet-O along with several seasonal Filet-O-Fish varieties.
  • Egypt – offers the McFalafel sandwich that swaps fried fish for falafel patties.
  • New Zealand – has sold a halal certified Filet-O-Fish since the 1990s.
  • Germany – uses fried fish, remoulade, and cucumber for a localized twist.

While customized for local tastes, these sandwiches retain the core fish, bun, and tartar sauce combination that has made Filet-O-Fish a global phenomenon.


A McDonald’s double Filet-O-Fish meal certainly packs a caloric punch at over 900 calories in total. The two fried fish patties, medium french fries, and soft drink contribute significant fat and carbs to this popular fast food combo.

Ordering modifications like no cheese, smaller sides, a diet drink, or shared meal can reduce the calorie count. The Filet-O-Fish sandwich itself also provides protein, omega-3s, calcium, and other nutrients despite its high-calorie fried preparation.

This iconic fish sandwich pioneered by McDonald’s in the 1960s has become a mainstay of American fast food. Its lasting popularity and the emergence of similar competing options underscore the Filet-O-Fish as the quintessential fish sandwich customers keep coming back for.

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