Dietary lipids are known to affect the composition of the biological membrane and functions that are involved in cell death and survival. The mitochondrial respiratory chain enzymes are membrane protein complexes whose function depends on the composition and fluidity of the mitochondrial membrane lipid. The present study aimed at investigating the impact of different nutritional patterns of dietary lipids on liver mitochondrial functions. A total of forty-eight Wistar male rats were divided into six groups and fed for 12 weeks with a basal diet, lard diet or fish oil diet, containing either 50 or 300 g lipid/kg. The 30 % lipid intake increased liver NEFA, TAG and cholesterol levels, increased mitochondrial NEFA and TAG, and decreased phospholipid (PL) levels. SFA, PUFA and unsaturation index (UI) increased, whereas MUFA and trans-fatty acids (FA) decreased in the mitochondrial membrane PL in 30 % fat diet-fed rats compared with 5 % lipid diet-fed rats. PL UI increased with fish oil diet v. basal and lard-rich diets, and PL trans-FA increased with lard diet v. basal and fish oil diets. The 30 % lipid diet intake increased mitochondrial membrane potential, membrane fluidity, mitochondrial respiration and complex V activity, and decreased complex III and IV activities. With regard to lipid quality effects, β-oxidation decreased with the intake of basal or fish oil diets compared with that of the lard diet. The intake of a fish oil diet decreased complex III and IV activities compared with both the basal and lard diets. In conclusion, the characteristics and mitochondrial functions of the rat liver mitochondrial membrane are more profoundly altered by the quantity of dietary lipid than by its quality, which may have profound impacts on the pathogenesis and development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.