Rangers were the better side in a first half of few chances, with Adel Taarabt at the heart of much of their good work.
A key moment came midway through the opening period when referee Andy D'Urso dismissed a strong penalty claim after QPR's Tommy Smith appeared to be bundled over by Lewis McGugan.
Forest offered a greater attacking threat in the second half as midfielder McGugan became the game's most prominent player.
And the Reds had a penalty shout of their own turned down with 18 minutes remaining after Alejandro Faurlin's clumsy challenge on substitute Robert Earnshaw.
Billy Davies made three changes to the Forest side which beat Coventry 2-1 in midweek, with skipper Paul McKenna, Paul Anderson and Dexter Blackstock coming in for Guy Moussi, Nathan Tyson and Earnshaw.
For QPR, Hogan Ephraim replaced the suspended Matthew Connolly.
The visitors settled first and dominated early possession but goalmouth opportunities were hard to come by in a tight opening.
Blackstock had the first attempt at goal for Forest in the ninth minute but his header from McGugan's corner sailed harmlessly over.
Ephraim then found space to get a shot away but Lee Camp tipped impressively around the post.
In the 25th minute QPR had a penalty appeal turned down as Kyle Walker burst into the Forest half on the counter-attack and played the ball to Taarabt, whose deflected shot fell kindly to Tommy Smith.
Sensing the danger, McGugan lunged in untidily behind the Rangers striker, but the protests were waved away.
Taarabt was becoming an increasing worry for Forest. A delicate chip from the Moroccan playmaker after half an hour was tipped out of the top corner by Camp and he lashed a volley wide from 16 yards in the 34th minute.
Forest managed to stifle QPR until the interval and chances remained at a premium in the second half.
A throughball from Smith allowed Jamie Mackie to briefly escape the attentions of the Forest defence but the Scotland international was forced wide and his effort found the side netting.
Forest began to show more attacking intent around the hour and a slaloming run from Blackstock ended with Paddy Kenny collecting his shot at the second attempt.
McGugan was starting to drive his side forward and his rasping effort from 18 yards drew a magnificent save from Kenny in the 72nd minute.
Earnshaw was first to the loose ball and QPR defender Alejandro bundled into the back of the Welsh striker, but D'Urso was once again unmoved.