Forest defender Elliott Ward, on loan from Norwich, put through his own net to hand Leicester a seventh-minute lead before Adlene Guedioura equalised midway through the first half.
David Nugent's superbly-taken lob, his seventh of the season, put the Foxes back in front before the break but Simon Cox's second-half penalty, Forest's first from the spot in 14 months, levelled matters.
Leicester, having dominated the early exchanges, drew first blood early on.
The goal owed much to the determination of the lively Martyn Waghorn, who harried and eventually won the ball before laying it off to Lloyd Dyer, he beat his man and crossed low from the left and Ward could only divert into his own goal.
Forest levelled with arguably their first meaningful attempt after 22 minutes.
The Reds cut their hosts open far too easily with a simple move down the right which ended with Guedioura side-footing home from 10 yards.
The leveller briefly gave Sean O'Driscoll's side greater confidence, but it did not last long as Nugent put Leicester back in front.
Talented Frenchman Anthony Knockaert sent Nugent clear with a delightful throughball and the striker sent an inch-perfect lob over Lee Camp.
Leicester passed up a superb chance to effectively wrap matters up four minutes after the break, Waghorn taking marginally too long to get his shot off and, with Camp beaten, allowed Ward to clear off the line.
Yet out of nowhere Forest drew level. Leicester gave possession away cheaply and Zak Whitbread brought down Billy Sharp in the penalty area, leaving Cox to take the honours from 12 yards.
Home fans were furious minutes later when Dyer's drilled effort appeared to rebound off the hand of Forest's Gillett in the penalty area.
That proved the final meaningful moment of the encounter as Forest took a point which will have pleased them more.