City's first and best chance of the game arrived on ten minutes when Richie Wellens found Matt Fryatt, who rounded Shaun Barker before firing against Stephen Bywater from 14 yards.
Fryatt then headed over a Lloyd Dyer cross as Leicester continued to press.
Then midway through the first half, Matty Oakley picked out Wellens who drove into the side-netting from 12 yards.
City continued to probe with Oakley touching a free-kick to Andy King who shot just over from 18 yards.
Derby had struggled to get out of their own territory in the first half and their only threat came early on when Kris Commons tested the City keeper from distance.
It was one-way traffic towards the Derby goal again after the restart with a Dyer close-range effort blocked and Oakley firing wide.
But in a rare Derby break out on the hour-mark, Commons blasted just over from 20 yards.
Leicester hit back through Dyer, who cut inside two defenders before shooting just wide before Jack Hobbs headed wide a Wayne Brown free-kick.
City continued to dominate but their patient build ups were comfortably repelled by resolute Derby.
And in time added on the Rams might have nicked it with a Robbie Savage free-kick from 20 yards which was scrambled clear.