The tie was only the second time the East Midlands rivals had met in the cup, with the only previous meeting in the competition also in Nottingham 110 years ago, in February 1901, when Forest were 5-1 winners.
It looked like goals would be on the cards this time round too as the Reds started brightly and dominated the first half.
However, they were unable to make a breakthrough and after being under the cosh for so long, Leicester looked the more likely winners towards the end.
With Greg Cunningham and George Boateng unavailable, Forest were forced into two changes.
Joel Lynch returned from suspension at centre-half, enabling Guy Moussi to revert to his usual midfield role, and there was also a start for teenage defender Kieron Freeman following his return from a loan spell at Mansfield.
Marlon Harewood was back in a Forest shirt for the first time since leaving the club over eight years ago following his recent return to the City Ground. The striker started on the bench.
Full-backs Lee Peltier and Paul Konchesky were fit enough to return to the Leicester starting line up, replacing the cup-tied Liam Moore and Sol Bamba, who is set to leave for the African Nations Cup where he will represent the Ivory Coast.
A third change for the Foxes saw midfielder Paul Gallacher recalled at the expense of Tom Kennedy.
Leicester were forced into a change after only five minutes, with Jermaine Beckford replacing the injured Jeffrey Schlupp up front alongside David Nugent.
Forest started on the front foot and created a handful of early chances.
Lewis McGugan and Andy Reid worked Kasper Schmeichel with efforts from inside the box before Reid extended the City goalkeeper with a header after 13 minutes.
Marcus Tudgay and Lynch also had opportunities with headers but both missed the target.
However, it was Leicester who came closest to opening the scoring midway through the first half.
Peltier had gone close with a header from a Gallacher free-kick before another delivery from the Scot was headed against the crossbar by Nugent.
Schmeichel was called into action again in the 39th minute to tip a long-range shot from Reid over the bar.
Nugent's lob from the edge of the area just before half-time went wide.
There were fewer chances after the break.
Gallacher had a couple of efforts before the hour mark, sending one shot over the bar and the other wide.
That was Gallacher's final contribution before he substituted. Leicester boss Nigel Pearson made two changes in the 60th minute, replacing Gallacher with Lloyd Dyer and Yuki Abe with Richie Wellens.
Harewood received a warm welcome back to the City Ground when he was introduced six minutes later. Reid was the player to make way.
Forest keeper Lee Camp made his first save of the match in the 68th minute when he kept out a header from City captain Matt Mills.
Beckford blasted a shot over the bar before Camp was called on again to parry a 12-yard shot from Nugent.
The last real chance of the game fell to Dyer with nine minutes remaining but he volleyed over from six yards out.