Forest struck three times in ten second half minutes through Joao Carvalho, Karim Ansarifard and Joe Lolley to move three points ahead of the Tigers in the Championship table.
For the third game running, Nigel Adkins named an unchanged starting eleven although he did include the returning Fraizer Campbell on the bench with Nouha Dicko making way.
At a packed out City Ground it was the hosts that registered the first attempt a goal with a dipping 25-yard volley from Yohan Benalouane that sailed wide of David Marshall’s goal with two minutes played.
The Tigers’ first chance arrived in the 18th minute following a nice one-two between Kamil Grosicki and former Forest man Eric Lichaj. Grosicki’s scuffed effort from just inside the box looked harmless enough, but Jarrod Bowen was quick to see an opportunity and nipped in to poke a shot just wide.
Leo Bonatini saw an effort deflected wide for the home side before Reece Burke produced a great block to deny Lolley when he looked set to put Forest in front after a weaving run had taken him inside the box.
Grosicki brought a near-post save out of Costel Pantilimon after getting on the end of Jackson Irvine’s pass but, in truth, it was a first half that never really got going as the sides headed in goalless at the break.
Marshall made a tremendous save early in the second half when a deflected header from a corner looked to be heading for the net before a double change from the Tigers on 54 minutes saw Evandro and Campbell replace Marc Pugh and Chris Martin.
Irvine was booked for a foul on Pele before Forest’s Ansarifard was booked for a nasty challenge on Burke which left the centre back needing treatment.
Ryan Yates fired a shot across Marshall and just wide of the far post while at the other end, half-hearted appeals for a penalty were turned down when Campbell went down as he looked to get on the end of Bowen’s pass.
The deadlock was broken in the 72nd minute as Forest took the lead. The ball fell invitingly for substitute Carvalho and a fine strike from just outside the box found the net via the inside of the post.
It was 2-0 soon after. Lolley cut in from the left and curled a low shot that came back off the post and Ansarifard was there to snap up the rebound.
Forest made it three goals in ten minutes when they were awarded a penalty following a foul by Markus Henriksen on Jack Colback. Lolley stepped up to score from the spot.
Nottingham Forest: Costel Pantilimon, Jack Colback, Daryl Murphy (Joao Carvalho 68), Ben Osborn, Alexander Milosevic, Ryan Yates, Joe Lolley (Diogo Goncalves 87), Tendayi Darikwa, Pele, Yohan Benalouane, Leo Bonatini (Karim Ansarifard 59).
Subs Not Used: Luke Steele, Adlene Guedioura, Ben Watson, Molla Wague.
Hull City: David Marshall, Todd Kane, Reece Burke, Jordy de Wijs, Eric Lichaj, Markus Henriksen, Jackson Irvine, Jarrod Bowen, Marc Pugh (Evandro 54), Kamil Grosicki, Chris Martin (Fraizer Campbell 54).
Subs Not Used: George Long, Kevin Stewart, David Milinkovic, Robbie McKenzie, Liam Ridgewell.
Referee: Mr J. Linington