An own goal from James Vaughan and a late second from Henri Lansbury saw Forest edge out their Sky Bet Championship rivals at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Jon Stead hit the post with a curling 20-yard effort on 10 minutes but the bulk of the opportunities came at the other end in a first half dominated by a much-changed visiting outfit.
Town goalkeeper Joe Murphy denied Lars Veldwijk and Jamie Paterson in quick succession before Adam Hammill cleared a looping Michail Antonio header off the line.
The chances continued to come and go for Forest as Huddersfield got to the break on level terms.
The visitors came out for the second period without Antonio and they missed his powerful runs down the flanks, although they did take the lead on 72 minutes courtesy of one of Town’s best.
Vaughan was introduced to a rousing ovation on the hour mark but he was soon on his haunches after inexplicably heading Paterson’s cross into his own net.
Huddersfield’s hopes of taking the match into extra-time were extinguished in the 82nd minute when Lansbury hit a low right-footed shot from the edge of the area past the outstretched right arm of Murphy as Forest wrapped up the win.