Italian Stefano Brizzi, 50, allegedly killed 59-year-old Pc Gordon Semple at his London flat some time between April 1 and April 7.
The officer went missing on April 1 and his remains were discovered a week later after a neighbour alerted Scotland Yard to a “smell of death” coming from a property on the Peabody Estate in Southwark Street, south London.
Mr Semple was originally from Inverness in Scotland and had been with the Metropolitan Police for 30 years.
Dressed in a pink shirt, bespectacled Brizzi appeared at the Old Bailey via video-link from Belmarsh Prison.
He sat with his hands together and spoke only to confirm his identity and plead not guilty to one count of murder.
Recorder of London Nicholas Hilliard set a provisional trial date for October 18. The case is expected to last three days.