Steve McLaren, who guided Twente to their maiden Eredivisie title two years ago in his first stint as manager, saw his side edge Heerenveen 1-0 in front of 29,200 spectators at the De Grolsch Veste.
Dusan Tadic's 59th-minute penalty was enough to separate the two teams and help Twente to their sixth win in six games.
The Europa League participants are six points clear of Ajax atop the table after the defending champions were held to a 1-1 draw at ADO Den Haag.
Tom Beugelsdijk put the hosts ahead on 14 minutes but Ryan Babel's equaliser on the hour mark, his first since returning to the Dutch giants from Hoffenheim, salvaged a draw for Frank de Boer's men.
In other results, 21-time league winners PSV moved up to fourth following a comfortable 3-0 win over rivals Feyenoord on Sunday.
After a scoreless first half, Ola Toivonen, Georginio Wijnaldum and Luciano Narsingh all found the back of the net in a 13-minute period to hand PSV maximum points.
NAC Breda came from behind to beat AZ Alkmaar 2-1 courtesy of second-half goals from Kees Luyckx and Sepp De Roover.