Microalgae are an alternative and sustainable source of lipids that can be used as a feedstock for biodiesel production. Nitrate is a good nitrogen source for many microalgae and affects biomass and lipid yields of microalgae. In this study, the effect of nitrate on cell growth and lipid production and composition in Monoraphidium contortum, Tetraselmis suecica, and Chlorella minutissima was investigated. Nitrate affected the production of biomass and the production and composition of lipids of the three microalgae tested. Increasing the nitrate concentration in the culture medium resulted in increased biomass production and higher biomass productivity. Furthermore, increasing the nitrate concentration resulted in a reduction in lipid content and productivity in M. contortum; however, the opposite effect was observed in T. suecica and C. minutissima cultures. C. minutissima and M. contortum lipids contain high levels of oleic acid, with values ranging from 26 to 45.7% and 36.4 to 40.1%, respectively. The data suggest that because of its high lipid productivity (13.79 mg L−1 d−1) and high oleic acid productivity (3.78 mg L−1 d−1), Chlorella minutissima is a potential candidate for the production of high quality biodiesel.