A superb strike from Ian Black gave Inverness all three points in a hard-fought game at Tannadice.
Ian Black's superb shot gave Inverness the lead
Black's 25-yard shot sailed over Dundee United goalkeeper Grzegorz Szamotulski and into the net after 19 minutes.
The hosts struck the bar through Willo Flood's cross and Garry Kenneth spurned two headed opportunities.
United staged a late rally, but Inverness almost doubled their lead when Szamotulski spilled John Rankin's shot, and held on for all three points.
United were without the suspended Sean Dillon, as well as Jon Daly and Christian Kalvenes who were sidelined with ankle and hamstring injuries respectively.
A rib problem relegated Prince Buaben to the bench, with Steven Robb, Greg Cameron, Kenneth and Jordan Robertson all handed starts.
Inverness made two changes to the team who beat St Mirren 1-0 last week.
Rankin replaced Dennis Wyness, who is sidelined with a hamstring injury, while Black was preferred to Barry Wilson.
Both sides started brightly and Morgaro Gomis fired a drive just over for the hosts.
Inverness took the lead after 19 minutes when Black sent a superb 25-yard shot over Szamotulski and into the net.
Jordan Robertson's shot six minutes after Black's opener forced Inverness keeper Michael Fraser into a routine save.
Flood struck the crossbar for United with a deep cross which beat Fraser, but stayed out. Flood's corner moments later was headed wide by Kenneth at the back post.
Kenneth spurned a great chance to equalise 10 minutes after the break when he headed Flood's cross wide.
Inverness were forced to defend deeper as the second half wore on and United committed more men further up the pitch.
United became frustrated at their lack of edge in front of goal and Wilkie was cautioned after 65 minutes for dissent.
The visitors almost doubled their lead when Szamotulski spilled Rankin's shot, but the ball crept by the post for a corner.
United's Mark Kerr had two opportunities late in the game to secure a point for the hosts, and Wilkie went close with a header.
Dundee United: Szamotulski, Flood, Kenneth, Dods, Robb, Kerr, Cameron, Gomis, Robertson, Wilkie Robertson. Subs: McLean, Buaben, Duff, Russell, Milligan, Pope, Don.
Inverness: Fraser, Proctor, McGuire, Munro, Hastings, Cowie, Black, Duncan, Rankin, McBain, Niculae. Subs: Malkowski, McCaffrey, Wilson, Bayne, McAllister, Kerr, Vigurs.
Goal: Black 19.
Ref: I Brines