The Spurs players had a chance to shine in Gareth Bale's absence and Townsend grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
The England Under-21 international put Tottenham ahead when he raced pierced the Dinamo defence with a 50-yard run which ended with him calmly slotting the ball past goalkeeper Giorhi Loria.
He also supplied an assist for Roberto Soldado, who scored two goals, and for Paulinho's maiden goal for the club.
Townsend excelled on loan at QPR last season, scoring twice in 12 impressive appearances, but he was brought back down to earth this summer when he was banned for four months - three of which were suspended - after breaking betting rules.
Villas-Boas is delighted with how the 22-year-old has responded, however.
"Andros has been working well in training, so we felt it was time to give him an opportunity and he did very well," the Tottenham manager said.
"If we have the type of performance we had to today (from him) we can always count him.
"For all the young players we are bringing through the competition they face is extremely difficult and in my opinion, when you overcome that type of opposition you can only become a top player.
"He is doing it the right way. He seems very focused after last year's experience."
Tottenham took the sting out of the hostile atmosphere inside the Dinamo Arena with Townsend's early goal, and from then on it was plain sailing.
Paulinho headed home the winger's cross to make it 2-0 before Soldado's double, and Danny Rose's first Tottenham goal in more than three years, sealed the comprehensive win.
"We had some very good moments and the thing that was the difference was scoring from the chances we had," Villas-Boas added.
"The killer instinct was there from the chances we had and that didn't happen in Dinamo's case.
"That is why, in the end the result is as expressive as it is."
Summer signing Nacer Chadli also impressed when he came on as a second half substitute while Hugo Lloris impressed again with a number of top-drawer saves.
The win means Tottenham are now huge favourites to qualify for the group stages - but Villas-Boas has warned against complacency ahead of next week's second leg at White Hart Lane.
"We want to ensure qualification and in the second leg anything can happen," he said.
"We are expected to win at home after this result away from home but we won't play with fire.
"We will be strong and want to ensure we are in the group stages."