Nolan gave away an early penalty and could do nothing to prevent his old club soaring to the dizzy heights of fourth in the table.
Kevin Davies hit a brace from the spot and in-form Johan Elmander also scored two as Owen Coyle's men brushed aside the beleaguered Magpies, who finished with 10 men after the late sending-off of Fabricio Coloccini.
Nolan's first appearance at the Reebok Stadium since his £4million move to Newcastle in January last year had started with a rousing reception from the home fans but quickly turned sour as Chris Hughton's men slid to a dismal defeat.
Nolan could have given his side a stunning advantage after less than a minute, when he seized on a mistake by Paul Robinson and cut into the box from the right where he blazed a fine chance high and wide.
Nolan and Newcastle came to rue that miss as the home side began to get a grip on the game had their first chance in the 15th minute when Chung-yong Lee crossed from the right and almost found Fabrice Muamba in front of goal.
Nolan's return got worse three minutes later when he handled an attempted cross by Lee in the box and referee Howard Webb pointed to the spot, Davies striking low to Tim Krul's left to give Bolton the lead.
With Bolton now well on top, Davies tried a left-foot snap-shot which Krul held at the second attempt, then he almost shrugged off the attention of three defenders to create a 27th minute chance before Danny Simpson intervened.
The visitors fashioned a rare chance in the 31st minute when Jose Enrique got round the back of the Bolton defence and dribbled a deep cross which was missed in the box by Carroll, making a sluggish return from midweek England duty.
Mike Williamson's foul on Elmander led to Bolton's second in the 38th minute. Matt Taylor slammed his free-kick against the bar and as Newcastle blundered their attempts to clear, the ball sprang loose to Lee who fired low past Krul.
Lee came close to a second when he just failed to connect with a Davies cross, but Newcastle could have reduced the deficit in the last minute of the half when Carroll just missed a Danny Guthrie cross.
Bolton could have gone further ahead within two minutes of the re-start when Taylor was given an alarming amount of space on the left but his cross towards the unmarked Davies was cut out by Enrique.
And the home side did make it three in the 50th minute when Lee fed Davies, whose superb short pass sent Elmander clear to coolly dribble round Krul and convert home his seventh goal of the season.
Newcastle reduced the deficit out of nowhere just a minute later when Ameobi's attempted pass struck Stuart Holden's legs and deflected clear to Carroll, who fired low to Jaaskelainen's left to give his side a glimmer of hope.
As the game continued to open up, Gary Cahill rammed a left-foot shot just wide from long-range and the Magpies fired another warning with Jonas Gutierrez's left-wing cross just missing Nolan and the diving Carroll in the box.
Nolan was booked for barging Elmander as the pair chased a loose ball on the edge of the box before Taylor slammed the resulting free-kick into the wall as Coyle's men pushed for a match-winning fourth.
It duly arrived in the 72nd minutes when Elmander was first to a long ball up-field from Jaaskelainen, shrugging off Coloccini before sliding the ball under the advancing Krul.
Things got worse for Newcastle in the 75th minute when Coloccini appeared to elbow Elmander as they battled for possession down the right flank, and the full-back was red-carded by referee Webb.
Williamson slammed a shot over the bar on 85 minutes and Ivan Klasnic came close for Bolton before Davies rounded off the rout with a second spot-kick in injury time after he was fouled by Enrique in the box.