Marco Borriello scored the only goal of the game in the 67th minute as Rudi Garcia's men moved five points clear of second-placed Napoli and Juventus, who lie in third.
The result also left Chievo firmly rooted to the bottom of the standings with four point as the Flying Donkeys were unable to find a second win of the season.
The fact that Roma only won by the slenderest of margins was the biggest surprise as they totally dominated, with the visitors only managing to create a single chance on goal.
Roma set the tone early on when Miralem Pjanic's cross from the right tested Dario Dainelli before Marquinho forced a simple save from Christian Puggioni as the home side started to warm up.
Marquinho then sent a strike over the bar and Kevin Strootman saw his effort punched away by Puggioni midway through the first half as the hosts started to take control.
Marquinho's radar seemed to be off target, though, as he sent another 18-yard effort wide before Pjanic's free-kick from the edge of the area flashed over the crossbar.
After the break, Roma picked up where they left off when Adem Ljalic's strike from the byline also few over Puggioni before a Pjanic chance went the same way just after the hour mark.
However, Roma striker Borriello did not miss at the next time of asking when he headed Alessandro Florenzi's cross into the net at the far post to edge the home side ahead.
Chievo had their sole chance of the game when Luca Rigoni forced a save out of Morgan De Sanctis, the ball breaking to Sergio Pellissier who found the net only for the offside flag to be raised.
Ljalic almost doubled Roma's lead in the 82nd minute when his free-kick sent Puggioni flying to put the ball over the bar.