Valerie Bertinelli's Unexpected Favorite Fast Food Meal - Exclusive

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

When it comes to fast food options, there are plenty of places to choose from. Whether you're a fan of chicken nuggets from Wendy's or Taco Bell burritos, there is truly something for every palate. However, Valerie Bertinelli's favorite convenient meal might come as a surprise since it's seafood-related, which can be tough to get right when you're making it quickly for a drive-thru.

The actress told Mashed in an exclusive interview while promoting her cookbook, "Indulge: Delicious and Decadent Dishes to Enjoy and Share," that her go-to fast food meal is McDonald's Filet-O-Fish. The sandwich features a breaded fish filet topped with American cheese, tartar sauce, and a steamed bun. The former "Kids Baking Championship" host revealed that, after her son Wolfgang Van Halen's soccer and baseball games when he was a child, they were a staple item she would always get.

However, she did have a caveat and said that it's important to buy one at the right time — between 11 and 11:30 a.m., when they're still fresh. "Otherwise, you have to wait until a second run because not a lot of people get Filet-O-Fishes," Bertinelli revealed. "If it's been sitting under the heater for too long, it's not good anymore. So, you take your chances, but when you get it right, it's flippin' heaven."

Bertinelli's take on how to make a Filet-O-Fish at home

​​To pay homage to Mickey D's and her time participating in carpools after her son's games, Valerie Bertinelli creates her take on the Filet-O-Fish by first setting up a dredging station. She then uses three bowls — one for flour, salt, and pepper, the second for eggs, and the third to combine panko and Italian bread crumbs. Next, she cuts her cod into similar-sized pieces and dunks them into each bowl, starting with the flour, then the egg, and lastly coating them with breadcrumbs.

When all of the fish bits have been properly seasoned and drenched, she places them on a lined baking sheet that's been sprayed with cook spray and puts them in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for around 25 minutes. If you're not a fan of the oven or want to cook your meat faster, try our breaded pan-fried cod recipe, which uses a nonstick pan. Either way, the next thing you'll want to do is smother brioche burger buns with butter and heat them in a nonstick pan over medium heat for a few minutes until they're a nice golden brown color.

From there, it's simple — just spread tartar sauce on both parts of your bread, plop a piece of fish on the bun, and top with classic American cheese. However, you could also get creative here and, if you're looking for a more savory flavor, try adding a bit of parmesan on top of the cod. A more complex taste can also be imparted by using mozzarella, which delivers a hint of tang and saltiness.

Valerie Bertinelli's new cookbook, "Indulge: Delicious and Decadent Dishes to Enjoy and Share," is available for purchase on Amazon.